Qantas boss Alan Joyce has unleashed on critics for questioning his $23.9million salary – arguing he deserved that kind of money.
Australia’s richest chief executive makes $459,000 a week or enough to buy 52 small suburban apartments every year.
His remuneration package with bonuses works out at more than 280 times Australia’s average, full-time salary of $85,000.
Qantas boss Alan Joyce has unleashed on critics for questioning his $23.9million salary – arguing he deserved that kind of money. Appearing at the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday, the Irish-born son of a cleaner lashed out at critics of his hefty remuneration package
The 53-year-old mathematician-turned airline chief has topped the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors list of Australia’s highest-paid CEOs.
Appearing at the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday, the Irish-born son of a cleaner lashed out at critics of his hefty remuneration package.
‘My salary is determined by our shareholders. And the reason why – by the way, that information is now over two years’ old, the salary has come down quite significantly since then,’ he told the luncheon.
Mr Joyce owns 2.7million Qantas shares, which are worth more than $17.2million, making him the airline’s 15th largest shareholder.
He has has benefited from the airline’s fortunes improving, at least during the latter part of his decade-long run as leader.
‘But that was because the Qantas share price went from $1 to $6,’ Mr Joyce said.
‘That’s because our market capital went from just over $2 billion to $10 billion.
Australia’s richest chief executive makes $459,000 a week – or enough to buy 52 city apartments every year. His remuneration package with bonuses works out at more than 280 times Australia’s average, full-time salary of $85,000 (Alan Joyce is pictured with his boyfriend Shane Lloyd)
‘And our shareholders did exceptionally well out of it.’
Australia’s highest paid chief executives
1. Alan Joyce (Qantas Airways): $23,876,351
2. Nicholas Moore (Macquarie Group): $23,855,580
3. Michael Clarke (Treasury Wines): $19,024,334
4. Bob Vassie (St Barbara gold): $13,246,088
5. Craig Scroggie (Next DC data): $12,515,914
6. Sandeep Biswas (Newcrest Mining): $12,083,392
7. Brian Benari (Challenger Group): $11,696,001
8. Raleigh Finlayson (Saracen Mineral Holdings): $11,284,256
9. Andrew Bassat (Seek): $10,744,472
10. Colin Goldschmidt (Sonic Healthcare): $10,017,376
Source: Australian Council of Superannuation Investors list of the highest-paid ASX200 CEOs in the 2018 financial year
In a room full of press gallery journalists and politicians, Mr Joyce justified his remuneration, making him Australia’s highest-paid chief executive of an ASX200 company.
‘Because the shareholders want the CEO and the management to be incentivised to actually turn the company around,’ he said.
‘And it was, I think, the biggest turnaround in corporate Australian history. That’s why that happened.’
For his efforts, Mr Joyce owns a three-bedroom penthouse with a view of the Sydney Opera House at The Rocks, which he bought for $4.6million in October 2008.
Nicholas Moore, the chief executive of investment banking giant Macquarie Group, was the second highest-paid corporate boss with a remuneration package of $23.86million during the last financial year.
He beat Treasury Wine Estate boss Michael Clarke, who took home $19million running the company behind Penfolds Grange and Rosemount Estate.
Australian Council of Superannuation Investors chief executive Louise Davidson slammed the ridiculously high salaries of corporate CEOs leading a corporation listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.
‘The way bonuses are being handed out suggests there is a culture of entitlement whereby supposedly “at risk” pay is not very risky at all,’ she said.
Mr Joyce also owns a three-bedroom penthouse with a view (as pictured) of the Sydney Opera House at The Rocks, which he bought for $4.6million in October 2008
‘Clearly, corporate Australia is not getting the message that bonus payments should be variable and awarded for stretch performance, rather than being fixed pay under another name.
‘This is a failure of both discipline and leadership.’
Under laws introduced in 2011, the entire board of an Australian Securities Exchange-listed company has to be spilled if 25 per cent or more of shareholders vote against the remuneration report at two consecutive annual general meetings.
Large institutional investors, however, typically own large chunks of most ASX corporations, which leaves retail mum and dad investors with little power to protest against the generous pay levels awarded to company directors.