Investors have rounded on senior board members, questioning both their independence and effectiveness, after more than half voted against 'obscene' pay awards for its top bosses that include a
One investor said this was a wake-up call for the firm to beef up its board: 'I think there has been a disconnect between investors and the firm.
'It's the role of the chairman to listen and act and if this does not happen the problem needs to be fixed one way or another.'
Peace's independence as chairman has been questioned because he was previously chief executive of GUS, the former parent company of
Shareholder advisory group Pirc had already warned that 'there is insufficient independent representation on the board' and told investors to vote against the re-appointments of Peace, Bowman and vice chairman
As many as 53pc of votes cast by investors at the firm's annual meeting went against its directors' remuneration report.
The main bone of contention was 1.35m shares awarded to Bailey prior to him taking up his new role as an incentive to stay with the firm after he was made an offer by a rival. The shares, which are not linked to performance, could be worth
'I am sure
'The big egos in the fashion world can be hard to handle. There was that embarrassing video Peace presented when Bailey was appointed.
'Investors might not have voted him down this year but he needs to be careful about next year.'
Bailey, who was previously chief creative officer and succeeded former boss
Speaking at the annual meeting, Peace said: 'The board took the view that it was essential that we retain Christopher in the business, mindful of the huge value he has created and would create in the future as one of the world's leading fashion designers.
'We achieved this by putting in place a new remuneration package similar to that paid to Angela including allowances and other benefits and granting him a further award of shares which would only vest in full if he remained with the company for a further five year period.'
'They are clearly not convinced that executive pay at the company has been transparently linked to tough performance targets. The onus in now on the board to urgently engage with shareholders to convince them they are responding to their understandable concerns.'
The company last year enjoyed strong growth, with sales up 17pc to
But shares have slipped slightly in the last 12 months on fears of slowing economic growth in
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