The chairman of BP has defended his top team amid criticism of a 20% pay hike for chief executive Bob Dudley, which is proposed despite the group posting its largest annual loss for 20 years and axing thousands of jobs worldwide.
Carl-Henric Svanberg told the company's annual general meeting in London that Mr Dudley and his team had put in a "seriously impressive performance", particularly against a backdrop of falling oil prices in a volatile and fragile market.
Mr Dudley is expected to receive a pay deal of 19.6 million dollars (£13.8 million).
Mr Svanberg acknowledged shareholders' "real concern" over director pay during the challenging year but said it would not be judged on oil prices or bottom line profit, rather on "measures that are clearly within management's control".
He said: "From that perspective, the board has concluded that it has been an outstanding year. The pay reflects this and it is consistent with our policy."
But he said: "On remuneration, the shareholders' reactions are very strong. They are seeking change in the way we should approach this in the future.
"But let me be clear. We hear you.
"We will sit down with our largest shareholders to make sure we understand their concerns and return to seek your support for a renewed policy."