Photograph by Roslan RahmanAFP/Getty Images.
Citigroup shareholders on Tuesday voted against a $15 million pay package for CEO Vikram Pandit.
The New York Times reports that the vote was the "first time that stock owners have united in opposition to outsized compensation at a financial giant," and could represent a sea change in the current national debate on income inequality as wealthy shareholders becoming more unwilling to see company chiefs take in lavish salaries.
"CEOs deserve good pay but there’s good pay and there’s obscene pay," Brian Wenzinger, whose firm owns more than 5 million Citigroup shares, told the Times.
Seventy-five percent of shareholders took part in the nonbinding vote. A vote against a compensation package is rare, as the Times explains, and Citigroup has a reputation for excessively paying its executives.
Pandit took an annual salary of only $1 for 2009 and 2010, during the worst of the bank's financial woes. He made $1.67 million in salary last year, however, plus a bonus of more than $5 million. He was also awarded a $40 million retention package that he'll receive through 2015.