New Year Honours for the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

In the Late Middle Ages, the rank of Knight was associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior. Wondering why people are still being granted Knighthoods, I did a random search on some of the people that received a Knighthood in the New Year Honours and found that the reason for being granted this honour is surely being tarnished. Andrew Witty, granted the highest honour of a Knighthood, in no way can it be said that he has acted with behaviour or qualities befitting a knight.

In November last year GlaxoSmithKline boss, Andrew Witty, admitted to the High Pay Commission, that the country is losing trust in businesses after a new independent report on executive pay. The report, published in November last year, states that the public believes “senior company executives are ‘rigging’ the system for their own ends”, and that “excessive high pay damages companies, is bad for our economy and has negative impacts on society as a whole.” This excessive pay creates an impression that business leaders are ‘in it for themselves’ and is damaging trust in British companies, especially at a time when most workers are seeing little or no increase in their pay.

Andrew Witty, chief executive officer at GlaxoSmithKline, earned more than $12 million in 2009, according to the Times of London. The newspaper noted the compensation included a salary of $4.7 million and another $7.5 million in options. That total is 76 percent more than Witty made the previous year, according to the Times. reported that Andrew Witty received a total remuneration for 2010 of £2,303,000.00 The share price of GlaxoSmithKline is at the same level now, as it was 5 years ago.

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