Executives and directors at Fortescue Metals Group have been hit with a first strike against their proposed pay packets, but Andrew Forrest says the miner is getting “excellent value for money” from its leadership. Fortescue held its annual general meeting in Perth on Tuesday, with shareholders handing down a 52.37 per cent rejection of pay. Fortescue non-executive director and head of the remuneration committee Penny Bingham-Hall said she had received “strong shareholder feedback” about one-off discretionary payments to the board and executives. This included a $1.98 million “one-off special recognition” payment to former Fortescue chief executive Elizabeth Gaines, who has served as non-executive director of the miner since September 2022, after stepping down from the top job. Mr Forrest defended the payment made to Ms Gaines., stating Fortescue had received “excellent value for money”, despite the shareholder disapproval. “Elizabeth, yes she was chief executive and she was going to sail off into the sunset like every other chief executive does, but she’s also been voted number 2 in the world by Forbes as the most effective chief executive globally,” the Fortescue executive chairman said. “I need that talent back into the fold.” Ian wells, who departed as Fortescue’s chief financial officer in March this year, also received a $1m one-off special recognition payment. Long-serving Fortescue director Mark Barnaba’s re-election passed comfortably with 91.57 per cent of proxies in favour. This was despite influential proxy adviser CGI Glass Lewis questioning Mr Barnaba’s pay packet and length of tenure. CGI Glass Lewis director of research Philip Foo said Mr Barnaba received fees of $1.265m, which was 60 per cent more than the median fees paid to the chairs of ASX20 entities. In August, Fortescue announced that Mr Barnaba would relinquish his role as lead independent director in “calendar year 2024”, but would continue in the role of deputy chair.