Mumbai: In a recent instance of compensation packages of senior-level corporate executives being questioned, Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran had to face queries from shareholders regarding the pay packages of Jaguar Land Rover MD Ralf Speth and the board of directors.
According to a report in the Economic Times, shareholders of Tata Sons raised the compensations for the JLR MD and the broader board of directors at the company’s AGM last week.
Praising Speth for his “enormous hardwork”, Chandrasekaran reportedly supported the compensation packages for both. "JLR has a very aggressive growth plan and it will continue. And the salary of the MD [Speth] is not high at all. If you compare it with similar companies, companies that I mentioned — and we have done a survey — it is an appropriate salary. In fact, slightly on the lower side. So, I hope that all the shareholders will support me," Chandrasekaran said.
The Tata Sons chairman said Speth’s approximate salary was "roughly around £7 million pounds" which is around Rs 57 crore per year.
Talking about the pay package of the board of directors, he said "They are extremely busy people. And, on an average, we hold about 40 meetings in a year. They [board of directors] all make it a point to attend, either in person or over a video link, sometimes at 12 in the night, sometimes at 2 in the morning, depending on where they are. I just want us to appreciate the enormous amount of dedication all of them bring to the table".
Compensation packages of senior level employees have often raised eyebrows of shareholders, founders of companies. In this context one may note that the salary of the outgoing CEO and MD of Infosys, Vishal Sikka was also questioned by founders like Narayana Murthy. In fact, it was one of the many reasons that sparked off the cold war between founders and the board of Infosys.