Media release

“The tide is turning”: Significant vote against directors at Santos AGM

The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility​ (ACCR) is commenting on the results of Santos’ 2023 Annual General Meeting, where sizeable votes were recorded against all three directors facing re-election. In the meeting, the following results were disclosed: 10.26% against Janine McArdle, 9.61% against Yasmin Allen and 6.24% against Guy Cowan.

Alex Hillman, Lead Analyst at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:

“In 2022, Santos directors experienced an average vote against them of 1%. This year the against vote jumped to an average closer to 9%. This is a significant shift, indicating growing investor concern.

“Santos has faced a litany of problems in recent years. Among other things, there have been allegations of covering up dolphin deaths, and Santos has been found by the Full Federal Court to have failed to meet its legal obligations to consult with traditional owners. Just today, there is news of a previously unreported uncontrolled gas explosion in January at the company’s Big Lake gas facility.

“A growing segment of the investment sector clearly understands that holding boards to account by voting against directors can be an appropriate escalation tool. The tide is turning towards greater director accountability.

“Considering this result at Santos today, all eyes will be on the director re-elections at Woodside’s AGM later this month.

“Whilst Santos has avoided a humiliating second strike on remuneration, the Board must now reflect on the clear message being sent by investors.”

Our work