Andrew Moss, the chief executive of Aviva, the UK's largest insurer, is stepping down with immediate effect following a shareholder revolt over the insurance firm's executive pay.
Andrew Moss, who has been chief executive since 2007, will leave after more than half of shareholder votes failed to back the firm's remuneration report at its annual meeting last week, which was widely seen as a criticism of Mr Moss's performance.
The Oxford graduate offered to waive a near 5 per cent pay rise which would have taken his annual salary over the £1m mark but this was not enough to appease investors, who have been hit by a 30 per cent drop in the share price in the last year.
Aviva chairman Lord Sharman apologised to shareholders at the AGM for ignoring their views when setting executive pay.
Lord Sharman said: "We recognise that a number of shareholders feel that we have not reflected their views, and overall shareholder value, in the judgments we made on remuneration and for this the board, and I apologise."
The 54-year-old, who has worked for Lloyd's of London and HSBC, leaves after two other chief executives, David Brennan at AstraZeneca and Trinity Mirror's Sly Bailey, stepped down amid increasing shareholder discontent.
Mr Moss, who was embroiled in an affair scandal in 2009, will be replaced on an interim basis by incoming chairman John McFarlane, who will become executive deputy chairman with immediate effect and executive chairman from 1 July.