Qantas president heckled by shareholders, executive remuneration rejected

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The annual general meeting of Qantas has been stormy with shareholders shouting ” shame on you “ to the chairman of the board of directors, Richard Goyderwhile investors massively rejected the agreement on remuneration company executives.

Disgruntled shareholders of Australian airline Qantas rejected the board’s pay report at the airline’s annual general meeting in Melbourne on Friday, with 82.93% votes against. The report had recommended that the disgraced former CEO, Alan Joycereceives an annual remuneration of 21.4 million Australian dollars (US$13.8 million), including $2.14 million in base salary for 2022/2023 and additional millions in long-term incentive plan bonuses, a tenfold increase from the previous year .

An attempt to calm investor sentiment by withholding an additional $2.2 million in short-term bonuses and promising to claw back $8.3 million if the board deemed it necessary failed to succeed. appease the shareholders, who ultimately refused to validate the report.

This result, which marks one of the greatest protest votes never organized in Australia against executive pay, came after Goyder and the airline’s new chief executive, Vanessa Hudsonapologized to investors for a year of sagas that saw the company’s share price fall.

Remember that management is also facing a crisis of mistrust at the end of September from the union Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA). The latter notably called for the resignation of the president of the airline in a damning letter which exposed a plethora of grievances. Qantas has come under scrutiny after losing a legal battle with a union over the dismissal of 1,700 ground employees during the pandemic of Covid to replace them with outsourced staff in 2020. She was also separately prosecuted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for the alleged advertising and sale of plane tickets for the airline. Among other issues, Qantas management is suspected of having put pressure on the Canberra government to prevent Qatar Airways to offer more flights to Australia.

Given the string of grievances, the rejection was not entirely surprising, given that it was an easy target for frustrated investors who saw the reputation of Australia’s much-loved flag carrier plummet. these last months. The sacrificial departure of Joyce has only partially restored some confidence in the struggling brand, and there are now calls for chairman Richard Goyder to leave immediately. Goyder says he will resign at the end of next year, but his departure doesn’t come soon enough for shareholders and many employees who view the embattled chairman as emblematic of the corporate culture that caused Qantas’ problems in the first place.

John Walker Avatar