UPDATE 1-Telecom Italia investors defy critics and back CEO pay package
* Telecom Italia investors back special award plan
* New CEO Cattaneo set to be paid 1.4 mln euros/year
* Cattaneo could get extra bonus of up to 40 mln euros (Adds details, comments)
By Agnieszka Flak
ROZZANO, Italy, May 25 (Reuters) - Telecom Italia's shareholders backed a special award plan for its new Chief Executive Flavio Cattaneo and other top managers on Wednesday, despite wider investor criticism of excessive boardroom pay.
Cattaneo is set to be paid 1.4 million euros ($1.6 million) annually under the Italian firm's remuneration plan and get a bonus worth between 50-150 percent of his salary if Telecom Italia reaches its business plan goals.
Investors also backed a special award plan that could see Cattaneo receive an additional bonus of up to 40 million euros if Telecom Italia exceeds its goals.
Proxy advisers Glass Lewis and ISS had urged shareholders to reject this special award, criticising the fact that it was linked to short-term results and that a bonus would be granted even in the case of an early departure.
The outcome was heavily influenced by top investor Vivendi , which controls Telecom Italia via a 24.7 percent stake. Arnaud de Puyfontaine, CEO of the French media group, told the meeting the plan was in line with investors' interests. Continuación...