Shareholders have been advised to vote against the reappointment of Coca-Cola HBC chairman Anastassis G. David ahead of the company’s AGM.
PIRC, the shareholder advisory group, said that David was representative of Kar-Tess Holding SA, a major shareholder in Coca-Cola, with 23% of the company’s stock, which rules him out of being chairman.
“This raises important governance concerns as it is considered that the chairman should not be connected to a significant shareholder in order to protect the rights of the minority shareholders,” PIRC said in an advisory note ahead of the meeting, to take place on Monday 11 June.
David has been chairman of Coca-Cola since 2016 following ten years as a non-executive director. He currently also serves on the board of Aegean Airlines S.A. and AXA Insurance S.A.
Coca-Cola HBC is one of the largest bottlers and sellers of Coca-Cola and is listed on the London Stock Exchange while operating in 28 countries.
The advisory group also recommends voting against the reappointment of nine non-executive directors for failing to attend meetings and falling short on independence standards.
Directors that PIRC says are not independent include Ahmet C. Bozer, a former executive vice president of Coca-Cola; William W Douglas, who has served in executive roles in the company; Anastasios I. Leventis, a representative of Kar-Tess Holding; Christodoulos Leventis, another Kar-Tess representative; Jose Octavio Reyes and Robert Ryan Rudolph, also both Kar-Tess placements.
PIRC says Reto Francioni and Sola Davod-Borha have missed meetings, for which there is insufficient explanation.
PIRC also opposed the remuneration policy and report, and is concerned about changes to chief executive pay. It also complained that the long-term incentive plan (LTIP) for executive pay is too short at three years, while there are concerns that pay is not linked to non-financial performance conditions.