We examine the influence of corporate governance mechanisms, namely blockholdings and board structure, on CEO pay–performance sensitivity in listed Australian firms. Results highlight blockholders' role in shaping observed pay–performance associations and their impact varying with their independence and relative magnitude of ownership. Monitoring blockholders increase the sensitivity of long-term at-risk pay to performance, better aligning manager and shareholder interests. However, consistent with a shorter investment horizon, insider blockholders increase (decrease) the responsiveness of cash bonuses (long-term at-risk pay). Finally, consistent with them affording less-effective monitoring, larger boards raise (lower) the sensitivity of known pay (long-term at-risk pay) to performance.