BP responded to a barrage of complaints from shareholders on Thursday over CEO Bob Dudley's pay package amid falling profits and job losses at the oil major.
The London-listed company reported a loss of $6.5 billion for 2015, its worst annual loss in 20 years. But it also increased Dudley's pay package (which includes pension payments) by 20 percent to $19.6 million from $16.4 million a year before.
Reacting to angry investors, who voted against the pay rise at the annual general meeting taking place in London, Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg said the company had always judged executive performance "not on the price of oil or bottom line profit but on measures that are clearly within management's control."
"But let me be clear. We hear you," he said, according to a transcript of his speech on the company website.
"On remuneration, the shareholders' reactions are very strong. They are seeking change in the way we should approach this in the future ... we will sit down with our largest shareholders to make sure we understand their concerns and return to seek your support for a renewed policy."
The AGM on Thursday presented the remuneration report to shareholders, but a vote on the policy - which 59.11 percent voted against - was only advisory. The pay rise was actually voted for at the AGM 2014 and the next time shareholders can change the CEO's pay rise is in 2017. Nonetheless, any dissent or revolt could put pressure on Dudley and the company.