The business secretary said it was "simply not credible" that the company - formed through the controversial merger of
He said he would demand a meeting with the firm's new chairman, former BP boss
"The company has had over three years to address this issue. It has been saying for over a year that they were in the process of appointing a woman to the board, and I specifically met the chief executive to discuss its performance on this issue. It has consistently failed to act," Cable said.
"The vast majority of
Cable had earlier appeared on BBC Radio Four's Women's Hour where he described the situation at
Cable made his criticism of
It was the second time he had chaired the AGM after being forced to abruptly step up to the task a year ago when the previous chairman, Sir
the way that the merger with
Despite speculation that Hayward was on the verge of announcing the appointment of a female director to its board, the new chairman merely said it was "an important ambition to appoint a female director before the end of this year".
Hayward was boss of BP until
In echoes of that disaster, Hayward was forced to tell
In an unusually nervous performance, Glasenberg added that "26 fatalities is an area we are working on. It should be noted that we do work in difficult regions. It is important that we get this down to zero". The previous year, 27 staff had died while carrying out their duties.
Hayward had faced questions about his appointment, with some investors
hoping an external director would be named for the role amid concerns that Hayward would have little influence over Glasenberg; the chief executive and his four senior lieutenants own about 20% of the company.
The outcome of the AGM vote showed that 10% of investors failed to back Hayward's reappointment to the board. The figure appeared to be kept low by the fact that 33% of
Excluding the company's staff from the ballot would give a figure of 12% of voting shareholders directly opposing Hayward, while factoring in abstentions and excluding
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