It would have been nice if Commonwealth
Bank managing director David Murray and his board had first told
shareholders and the market that the Murray is leaving when his
existing contract finishes midway through next year, rather than
revealing it through a newspaper column
by SMH
business writer Liz Knight today.

Murray,
his board and chairman Dr John Schubert should have realised they had
disclosure responsibility to inform the market that Murray is going and
the bank is now in succession mode.

After all, Murray is the
CBA’s only CEO since it was sold off by the then Labor Government in
the early 90s. He’s done very well over the last two years, pulling
down more than $10 million a year in pay, options and share grants.

All
properly disclosed, except for one thing. Investors and readers with
long memories will remember the $400,000 a year bonus slipped to Murray
for ten years, from 1992 – when the bank floated – to 2002. That was a
retention bonus to keep Murray in place in the early years of being
privatised. But the board never got round to disclosing this fact.

Peter Fray

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