The Swisscom AG chief executive officer could see his annual pay cut by three quarters to 475,000 francs ($480,000), if the electorate votes on June 5 to limit executive compensation at state-controlled companies. The “Pro Service Public” initiative, which would also affect rail-road operator SBB and the national postal service, follows a 2013 plebiscite that introduced some of the toughest rules on executive pay. Together with a 2014 vote that limited immigration, concerns are mounting that Switzerland’s direct democracy may be diminishing the allure of a country that regularly tops global business rankings. “Those types of popular initiatives have harmed Switzerland’s reputation for doing business,” said Jon Cox, head of Swiss equities at Kepler Cheuvreux in Zurich. “In Switzerland, there has been a general backlash against pay.”
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