The $25 million man
Joyce to be rewarded for Qantas’s stellar run
QANTAS chief Alan Joyce is Australia’s $25 million man after being richly rewarded for piloting the airline’s stunning turnaround.
Qantas chairman, Leigh Clifford, has insisted the mammoth pay cheque for the past year – up from $12.9 million the previous year – has been well earned.
Mr Joyce’s eye-watering salary, confirmed in Qantas’s annual report yesterday, hit the stratosphere this year thanks to the company’s meteoric rise in fortunes just three years after it posted a record $2.84 billion loss.
Back then, Qantas looked like it was going to need a government guarantee on its debt to retain its credit rating.
But in years since, the group’s $2 billion cost-cutting plan has helped deliver a rise of more than 350 per cent in its share price, effectively going from chicken feed to caviar, with Mr Joyce chief among the beneficiaries.
Some $14.5 million of his pay this year has come from the vesting of shares awarded under an incentive plan introduced when the airline was at its lowest ebb.
That sum dwarfs his base salary of $2.1 million, which was unchanged from a year ago, with the remainder made up from short- and long-term bonuses.
Mr Clifford told shareholders yesterday the board had been vindicated in linking senior management’s performance targets to the bonus scheme because “the results are clear”.
“They reflect the company’s exceptional performance, including our top ranking for total shareholder return among global airline peers and every company on the ASX 100.”
In the past three financial years, Qantas has posted pretax underlying profits – tallies that strip out one-off items – of $975 million, $1.5 billion and $1.4 billion.
Qantas shares closed down 1.2 per cent yesterday at $5.82.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has reinvigorated the airline. PAUL GILDER