Chairman Adrian Bellamy defended Ms Sprieser and the remuneration policy, arguing that investors should recognise that remuneration was linked to the company’s strong performance.
“Our remuneration policy has produced substantial results not just last year,” said Mr Bellamy.
“Remuneration is not just one size fits all. We are very diligent about considering all these options and we believe Judy Sprieser has managed this exceedingly well so we invited her to continue on our board.”
Mr Bellamy added: “We would prefer to be a partner with you and we hear you.”
The board was also criticised by Cliff Weight, a director at the shareholder advocacy group ShareSoc, who called Mr Kapoor’s pay package “unjustifiably high” and said that “it is difficult to lead a cost conscious company when you are paid excessively yourself”.
Reckitt Benckiser last year launched a cost cutting initiative that included asking employees to fly economy.
Ms Sprieser addressed the comments by saying that the success of Reckitt Benckiser’s remuneration policy has been its “simplicity, consistency and transparency”.
“It works and it is delivering value for our shareholders,” she said.
Mr Bellamy added: “I hear what you are saying and we value your input.”
Ms Sprieser declined to comment on the sidelines of the meeting whether the shareholder reaction would prompt a change to the remuneration policy.