QANTAS chief executive Alan Joyce’s annual pay has soared to nearly $25 million — catapulting him into the ranks of the best-paid bosses in Australian corporate history.
The Qantas boss’s total remuneration for 2016/17 increased 90 per cent on the $12.96 million he made the prior year.
It came as Qantas’ share price more than doubled, fuelling a surge in the value of performance-based share entitlements after Mr Joyce successfully steered the carrier’s turnaround with two consecutive years of profit.
Mr Joyce’s base pay was steady at $2.11 million but his pay packet was boosted by a $1.8m cash bonus and $6 million in vesting performance awards, while the value of long term share-based incentives jumped from $3.16 million to $14.49 million.
The sky-high salary was revealed in Qantas’s annual report on Friday and was accompanied by a statement from Qantas chairman Leigh Clifford, who defended Mr Joyce’s pay.
“There is no question that these pay outcomes are high,” Mr Clifford said.
“That’s because they reflect the company’s exceptional performance, including our top ranking for total shareholder return among global airline peers and every company on the ASX100.”
Mr Clifford said the share price had more than quadrupled in the past three years and the value of executive bonuses, which are mostly paid in Qantas shares, have risen with it.
Shares that were worth $1.26 when they were awarded in 2014 as part of a three-year long term incentive plan are now being paid out at $5.72.
It follows the success of the airline’s $2 billion turnaround plan that resulted in a record underlying profit of $1.5 billion in 2015/16 and $1.4 billion profit in 2016/17.
This marked the completion of the airline’s three-year transformation which included 5,000 job cuts, major fleet changes and new routes.
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