Outspoken Brexit supporter and JD Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin has emerged victorious after shareholders voted overwhelmingly in his support, despite calls for his removal from the company’s board. Martin was last week locked in a war of words after proxy adviser Pirc criticised his pro-Brexit spending, which included £94,856 on almost 2m Vote Leave beer mats
Martin was re-elected with the support of more than 98% of shareholders and who has been in the role 40 years, told investors he would “like to do another 40”.
Pirc advised shareholders to remove Martin from the board due to his lengthy term at the helm. The boss has held the role of executive chairman since 1983, in breach of corporate governance guidelines.
Martin last week lashed out at Pirc’s advice, branding it “toxic”, while also labelling major shareholders Columbia Threadneedle and Blackrock “hypocrites” for their votes against the re-election of long-serving directors last year.
Other board members, who have served for longer than the recommended nine years, were also reelected, although not quite as enthusiastically as Martin.
Ahead of the general meeting the chief executive had hit out at such rules in a company financial update describing them promoting “short-termism, inexperience and navel-gazing”.
Investors approved all motions put before them at the annual meeting.