20 Nov 2015

Kathmandu's board to face tough questions

10:59 am on 20 November 2015

Kathmandu's board is expected to face tough questions over an incentive package for its new chief executive at the annual meeting in Christchurch today.

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Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The outdoor clothing and goods company abruptly changed a proposed incentive proposal yesterday afternoon, which will be presented to shareholders at today's meeting.

The original plan drew stinging criticism from some major shareholders for being too generous to the new chief executive Xavier Simonet.

Kathmandu's board said the revised plan, which set a higher profit target for the chief executive to achieve to get a bonus, was aimed at creating shareholder value.

The original proposal was criticised as too generous to the chief executive by large shareholders, including homeware and sporting goods retailer Briscoe Group, which owns 19.9 percent.

Under the old proposal the chief executive had to increase earnings by a compound rate of 15 percent over three years to get his full bonus. That has now been raised to a 22.5 percent increase.

Briscoe managing director Rod Duke said the latest proposal was better than the first.

"It still seems a touch light, but nowhere near as light as that ridiculous first number."

Mr Duke also questioned the re-election of two directors who were members of the committee, which put forward what he regarded as a flawed incentive plan in the first place.

The Shareholders' Association also attacked the incentive scheme and said the late changes have effectively disenfranchised shareholders who have already cast absentee votes on the oiriginal proposal.