It’s all rather amazing: the Qantas board and senior management, after nearly selling out the company and shareholders by endorsing and actively promoting the failed $5.45 a share offer from Airline Partners Australia, rewards themselves very nicely for doing their job and managing the company.
They’ve gone and paid themselves more for the 2007 year, despite ignoring rising concerns from shareholders that the company was being given away too cheaply.
The high pay is dominated by increased cash bonuses to the two executive directors, CEO Geoff Dixon and Chief Financial Office, Peter Gregg.
Mr Dixon, was paid $6.7 million, up on the previous year’s amount of $5.3 million. His pay was boosted by a cash bonus of $2.9 million, compared to around $1 million the year before.
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That bonus because of the 53% rise in earnings, the 11% higher revenues and 8% rise in costs and from the sharp improvement in passenger numbers.
This is a board and senior management which had to be forced to provide trading updates during the bid which showed clearly the rebound in Qantas’ fortunes and it was only an act of greedy stupidity by a New York hedge fund which sunk the offer when it was closing in early May.
The 2007 Qantas annual report reveals that directors have capped the volatile past 12 months (of their own making) by giving themselves a $2.2 million pay rise. That’s $13.26 million, or up 21.8% on the pay in 2006.
The impact of this heady combination on Qantas’ bottom line was something Dixon, Jackson and the board tried to hold back from the market during the bid.
Dixon had told a press conference in August that had the APA bid gone ahead he would have been “richer”: how much more money do you need than the $6.4 million in total he received in 2007?
Chief Financial Officer, Peter Gregg, received $4.1 million in total remuneration, including a cash bonus of $1.49 million. He was another who threw his lot in with the buyout gang led by Macquarie Bank.
And another member of the Qantas management group involved in the bid was the head of airline ops, John Boghetti. He’s not a director, but the annual report shows his total remuneration was $4.08 million, including a cash bonus of $1.38 million.
Departing chairman, Margaret Jackson, took home $592,000, compared with $534,747 previously, despite her strong recommendation in favor of the failed bid.
PBL boss and Qantas non-executive director, James Packer, has been rewarded with $136,350: that’s money he didn’t need after PBL got a $3 million tax credit from selling 50% of PBL Media for $1.5 billion.