Shareholders of Houston-based Cheniere Energy rejected the company’s 2013 executive compensation package Wednesday that included $142 million in salary and stock grants for CEO Charif Souki, the highest paid CEO in the United States.
In a non-binding vote Cheniere’s shareholders cast 75,981,397 votes in favor of the compensation package and
87,669,193 votes against it.
The vote comes on the heels of a lawsuit filed in July by the company’s shareholders that alleges a stockholder vote conducted in February 2013 to nearly triple the company’s 2011 incentive plan was improperly counted.
Stockholders want 25 million shares to be returned.
The company said the votes were accurately counted.
In 2013, Souki banked $141.95 million in total compensation with $132.93 million coming from stock awards tied to performance milestones.
Cheniere is the first U.S. company to win approval to export liquefied natural gas to countries that do not have free trade agreements with the United States.
Cheniere reported $267.2 million in revenue and a $507.9 million net loss attributable to common stockholders in 2013, the Houston Business Journal said.