No matter what the board of John Fairfax does, it just can’t get it right.
The board is now engaged in a silly fight with major shareholders over the grossly inadequate disclosure of the performance hurdles for the huge short term performance bonus for the new CEO, David Kirk (who has already signed off on 55 redundancies). That will be worth up to 150% of his base salary of $1.2 million, giving him a potential salary in any one year approaching $3 million, before any other additional payments.
On Friday the board moved some way to trying to settle the row, but shareholders and others can do nothing about the bigger disaster, the $4.5 million ‘Golden Goodbye’ paid to Fred Hilmer – which (morally) should have gone to a vote by shareholders, but won’t.
But that’s not surprising. After all, Roger Corbett, the Woolies CEO and a Fairfax director, will get a multi-million dollar “Golden Goodbye” from the retailer when he leaves in ten months’ time. And you can’t take one to a vote at Fairfax without threatening your own, more generous goodbye package, can you?
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