Cash out: Troubled Ladbrokes boss takes a punt on cutting pay in bid to stop investor revolt

Alex Daniel
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The chief exec of betting firm Ladbrokes is set to forego around £150,000 as he takes a gamble designed to quell shareholder unrest over his pay.

Kenny Alexander, boss of Ladbrokes’ owner GVC Holdings, has agreed give up the majority of a recent pay rise from £750,000 to £950,000 after talks with the company’s board, and instead settle on a new £800,000 figure for his base salary.

The move comes a week before GVC’s annual meeting (AGM) on 5 June, where the gambling operator which owns Ladbrokes and Sportingbet has been gearing up to face widespread shareholder revolt after top executives collected nearly £28m in pay after considerable share awards.

A statement which went up on GVC’s website yesterday said the decision came “in light of recent shareholder and proxy adviser feedback on GVC’s 2018 remuneration report and on our remuneration committee chair.”

This change will take effect from 1 June.

The story was first reported by Sky News.

Analysts have predicted a repeat of last year’s AGM, when around 44 per cent of shareholder votes went against the remuneration report.

The pay rises came after Britain’s largest high street bookmaker said it would take a £130m hit next year from new gambling regulations that capped betting on certain machines at 2 pounds from April. GVC shares have fallen more than 40 per cent in the last 12 months.