UPDATE 12.15pm: Macmahon shareholders have delivered a massive protest vote against the company's remuneration report, possibly paving the way for a "first strike".
Proxy votes lodged at MacMahon's annual general meeting showed 43 per cent of shareholders voted against the report.
The company said 149 million shareholders had voted in favour of the report, while 116 million shareholders were against it, and three million abstained.
A quarter of shareholders are needed to vote against a company's remuneration report to register a “first strike".
If at least 25 per cent of shareholders vote against the company's remuneration report again in 2013, it could pave the way for a board spill.
However chairman Ken Scott-Mackenzie said votes by the company's major shareholder Leighton Holdings, which owns a 19.5 per cent stake in MacMahon, were not included among the proxy votes.
The final tally of all votes is expected to be announced to the ASX later today.
Mr Scott-Mackenzie said the final remuneration vote would be very close, but he would not comment on individual shareholders.
"What it says (the proxy vote) to the company is the shareholders, understandably are very disappointed in the recent announcement of the profit downgrade,” Mr Scott-Mackenzie told AAP after the meeting.
But he said the company would not need to look at further salary cuts for the executive team.
“The other elements that we're looking at are to include a claw back arrangement in the short-term incentives plan and eliminating any time-based long-term incentive awards,” he said.
The large protest vote against the remuneration report comes just days after MacMahon, which is reviewing its Hope Downs 4 Rail earthworks contract in WA, apologised to shareholders for its recent earnings downgrade.
And it comes despite the executive team agreeing to take a 10 per cent salary cut.
Mr Scott-Mackenzie was overwhelmingly re-elected by shareholders at the meeting.
Yesterday, the company announced it had reached a $380,000 termination agreement with its former chief executive Nick Bowen who received a total pay packet of $3 million in fiscal 2012.
New chief executive Ross Carroll earned a total of $1.9 million in fiscal 2012 in his former role as chief operating officer of the company.Macmahon shares were flat at 30 cents at 12.15pm.