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Shell Pays CEO Voser $4.4M, Ex-Exec Linda Cook Gets $7.6M Severance


MARCH 16, 2010, 6:47 A.M. ET By Lananh Nguyen and Jeffrey Sparshott Of Dow Jones Newswires

LONDON (Dow Jones)–Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB) said Tuesday it made a $7.6 million severance payment to the former head of its gas and power division last year, making her the highest-earning executive at the Anglo-Dutch oil major in 2009.

Linda Cook resigned as an executive director of the company on June 1, soon after Shell appointed Peter Voser as chief executive. Cook, one of the most senior women in the global oil industry, was a top contender for the post and had worked for Shell for 29 years.

In addition to the severance payment, Cook also earned a base salary of $1.4 million and a performance bonus of $1.54 million, according to the company’s annual report Tuesday.

Along with other benefits, her total earnings were $9.1 million, outpacing CEO Voser.

Voser’s earnings rose 22% in 2009 to $4.4 million.

Voser, who became CEO in July 2009, replacing Jeroen van der Veer, earned $3.6 million in 2008 while serving as the company’s chief financial officer. The earnings include Voser’s salary and performance bonus.

Shell proposed in February changes to how it pays its executive directors in an attempt to assuage concerns that led shareholders to reject its remuneration package last year.

“In my view, the most significant of these changes are that we have committed not to use upward discretion on share awards without prior consultation with major shareholders, we have updated the metrics for the incentive plans and we have ended the practice of free matching shares in our deferred bonus plan,” said Hans Wijers, chairman of the Shell’s remuneration committee, in a letter to shareholders.

Van der Veer was the second-highest paid executive last year, with total earnings at $4.88 million.

-By Lananh Nguyen and Jeffrey Sparshott, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 (0)20-7842-9479; [email protected]

(James Herron contributed to this report.)

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