July 01--Yesterday, the board of directors of The Phoenix Holdings Ltd. (TASE: PHOE1;PHOE5) approved a compensation package for CEO Eyal Lapidot worth NIS 5.2 million annually until 2017. The package requires approval by the general shareholders meeting.
The package is worth half of what the board originally proposed. The change came about following public protest, and mainly because of pressure from the Ministry of Finance and Minister of Finance Yair Lapid, who the other day attacked Lapidot and Phoenix by name.
"Everything that is sick and immoral in the Israeli economy and Israeli society is expressed in this attempt to pay Phoenix CEO Eyal Lapidot the exorbitant sum of NIS 10 million," Lapid said on Sunday, after the ministerial legislation committee approved his bill to limit senior executive pay in the financial sector such that compensation of more than NIS 3.5 million a year will not be recognized for tax purposes.
"This is out of touch with a reality in Israel in which the middle class cannot make ends meet. Instead of reducing the fees that the public pays, they hand out enormous salaries," Lapid said, and continued, "Boards of directors need to understand that they have to display greater responsibility towards the community. This is unconscionable moral insensitivity, and we must stand against it as a society. This is not capitalism and not the free market, but mere unbridled greed."
(c)2014 the Globes (Tel Aviv, Israel)
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