Andrew Moss has resigned as chief executive of Aviva with immediate effect.
The announcement comes after the insurance giant lost a shareholder vote over pay levels at its annual meeting in London last week.
Mr Moss had agreed to turn down a £46,000 annual salary increase following concerns among shareholders about the company’s remuneration plan.
Chairman designate John McFarlane is to take over the helm on an interim basis until a replacement is appointed.
Aviva chairman Lord Sharman said that Mr Moss had approached him with the decision that he felt it was in the best interests of the company that he step aside to make way for new leadership.
Lord Sharman said: “We should acknowledge the progress that has been achieved under Andrew Moss’s leadership.
“Through the global financial crisis he led the consolidation of our international presence and the integration of 40 brands into the very powerful single Aviva brand.”
He added that shareholder would be “in very good hands” under John McFarlane.
“His leadership and shareholder credentials are impeccable,” Lord Sharman said.
Mr McFarlane said he was excited to play a pivotal role in the transformation and future of Aviva.
“My first priorities are to regain the respect of our shareholders by eliminating the discount in our share price and to find internally or externally the very best leader to be our future chief executive,” he added.
Last week’s result is only the fourth instance of a FTSE 100 company losing a vote over pay. However, shareholders had voted to re-elect Mr Moss as chief executive.
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