The board, with a majority of 58%, rejected a resolution to adopt Directors' Remuneration Report (DRR) at the annual general meeting of the maker of Dove soap and Ben & Jerry's ice cream.
While the majority of Unilever's shareholders supported the notion that the new CEO's fixed pay was commensurate with the scale and complexity of the role, there was a prevailing sentiment that achieving alignment with the market should have been a gradual process, rather than an immediate step upon appointment.
No Fixed Pay Increase
Schumacher, who took up the role in July, will not be eligible for a fixed pay increase in 2024 and 2025.
'The primary reason for the limited support for the DRR was the approach taken to setting the incoming CEO's remuneration on appointment,' the company said in a statement.
The compensation committee is reviewing his fixed pay level in 2026.
This strategy, aimed at curbing increases during the initial years of the CEO's appointment, is intended to resonate with shareholder perspectives gathered during the engagement process, the company said, emphasising that market alignment should be accomplished within two to three years following appointment.
Unilever released its third-quarter report last week, revealing a notable 5.2% increase in underlying sales. During the same quarter, underlying price growth reached 5.8%, although there was a slight dip of 0.6% in underlying volumes.
The price surge outpaced analysts' expectations, who had also predicted that volumes would experience their first increase in approximately two years.
Additional reporting by ESM