BHP legal chief hit with $300,000 paycut

BHP Billiton chief legal counsel and head of external affairs John Fast took a $300,000 (£160,000) pay cut this year, but still managed to rake in a package worth some $1.85m (£988,000), before long-term incentives.

Fast, who is based in BHP’s Australian headquarters in Melbourne, had his remuneration package published in the company’s annual report for the 2005-06 financial year.

The remuneration table for key management personnel revealed that Fast saw his base salary rise by 4 per cent to $738,079 (£394,000), while his bonus fell marginally to $649,283 (£347,000).

The dip in his total package came through remuneration related to his shareholdings. Fast took $29,606 (£16,000) from a dividend equivalent payment in 2006, compared with the $101,530 (£54,000) he received in 2005. The value of his deferred shares also fell from $557,230 (£298,000) to $437,246 (£234,000).

Fast was the lowest paid of all key management personnel that served a full year in the office of the chief executive.