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BlackBerry shareholders give tepid support to executive compensation program


WATERLOO, Ont. — BlackBerry Ltd. shareholders gave tepid support to the company’s executive compensation proposal.

Nearly 59 per cent of shareholders supported the advisory vote on executive compensation while 41 per cent opposed.

Despite being approved, the Waterloo, Ont., company told shareholders at Wednesday’s annual meeting that the support was “below our expectations” and that the board will review the results as part of its ongoing evaluation of its compensation program.

BlackBerry says it believes its compensation needs to be competitive in a challenging market for talent.

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Two major proxy advisory firms, Glass Lewis & Co. and Institutional Shareholder Services Inc., recommended shareholders oppose the non-binding motion. CEO John Chen’s substantial stock awards have garnered close attention, especially as the company’s share price has at times surged as it has been promoted on social media as a so-called meme stock.

Meanwhile, Prem Watsa, the lead independent director who chairs the compensation committee, was re-elected despite recommendation from the advisory firms to withhold support. The CEO of Fairfax Financial and director Barbara Stymiest received just about 82 per cent support.

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