Swiss Vote for Tough Limits on Executive Pay

From Talking Points Memo:

BERLIN (AP) — Swiss voters voiced their anger at perceived corporate greed Sunday by approving a plan to boost shareholders’ say on executive pay.

Some 67.9 percent of voters backed the “Rip-Off Initiative,” with 32.1 percent against, according to the official count broadcast by Swiss public television station SRF.

The outcome of the referendum was considered a foregone conclusion after opinion polls in recent months showed strong public support for the initiative.

News last month that the outgoing board chairman of Swiss drug maker Novartis AG, Daniel Vasella, was to receive a leaving package worth 72 million Swiss francs ($77 million) further fired up public sentiment against “fat cat” bosses. Vasella later said he would forego the deal, but by that time the incident had dashed opponents’ hopes of stopping the initiative.

“Today’s vote is the result of widespread unease among the population at the exorbitant remuneration of certain company bosses,” Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga told a news conference in the capital Bern hours after polls closed.

(via Poor Mojo)