Chesapeake Energy Corp. shareholders barely ratified by a 50.3% vote the compensation of Robert D. Lawler, president and CEO, and other executives, despite opposition from big pension funds and proxy-voting advisory firms.
The C$278.9 billion ($215.5 billion) Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Toronto; $186.8 billion California State Teachers' Retirement System, West Sacramento; $178.3 billion Florida State Board of Administration, Tallahassee; and the C$171.4 billion Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Toronto; voted against the pay packages, according to their proxy voting disclosures.
Glass Lewis and Institutional Shareholder Services both recommended their institutional clients vote against ratifying the pay.
The say-on-pay vote on executive compensation is non-binding.
Mr. Lawler's total pay in 2015 was $15.4 million, up 5% from 2014. Pay of the other four executives in 2015 ranged from $4.3 million to $5.3 million.
Shareholders rejected by a 94.4% vote a proposal from the $29 billion Connecticut Retirement Plans & Trust Funds, Hartford, calling Chesapeake Energy to report on its lobbying activity and spending to promote transparency and accountability. A proposal the $464 million Nathan Cummings Foundation, New York, calling for exclusion of reserves from metrics used to determine senior executive compensation, was rejected by a 95.4% vote.
CPPIB, CalSTRS and Florida SBA supported the Connecticut fund proposal, while OTPP, Glass Lewis and ISS opposed it.
All the pension funds, Glass Lewis and ISS opposed the Nathan Cummings fund proposal.
The preliminary results were announced at Friday's annual general meeting, which was webcast.