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Phil Watts

Toxic pay spotlight shifts beyond bank bosses

Whatever the measure, some question whether a CEO deserves the credit for the outcomes for which he or she is rewarded. Peter Voser, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest company by market capitalization, enjoyed a doubling in his pay in 2011 to 11.7 million euros, largely thanks to a three-year bonus scheme linked to cashflow.

However, the rise in cashflow was tied to three giant projects sanctioned by Voser's predecessor, Jeroen van der Veer - who famously declared that he would not have performed any better or worse had he been paid more or less - and devised by van der Veer's predecessor, Phil Watts.

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Jettisoning targets

Investors like predictability and normally punish such miscreants. In some cases, chief executives walk the plank. Think of Phil Watts at Royal Dutch Shell or the débacle at Dutch retailer Ahold.

This website and sisters royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, and shellnews.net, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.