Qantas CEO's pay falls 83% due to coronavirus pandemic

Qantas Airways chief executive officer Alan Joyce took no salary from April to July, before returning to 65 per cent of his base salary in August.
Qantas Airways chief executive officer Alan Joyce took no salary from April to July, before returning to 65 per cent of his base salary in August.PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY (REUTERS) - The total pay for Qantas Airways chief executive officer Alan Joyce fell by 83 per cent in the financial year ending June 30 because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the airline said on Friday (Sept 18).

This pushes Mr Joyce from the ranks of Australia's highest-paid bosses.

Mr Joyce's total pay was A$1.7 million (S$1.68 million) in the financial year, down from A$9.9 million a year earlier, Qantas said in a statement.

Two years ago, Mr Joyce was the highest paid chief executive in Australia, according to the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI), after successfully spearheading a turnaround programme. He was ranked eighth by ACSI last year.

The airline said Mr Joyce took no salary from April to July this year as revenues collapsed, before returning to 65 per cent of his base salary in August.

Part of the decline in Mr Joyce's total pay was because he offered, and the board agreed, to not receive 345,000 shares associated with a long-term incentive from 2017, Qantas said.

It added that a decision on whether those shares will ultimately vest or lapse has been deferred until at least August 2021.

Qantas has announced plans to cut 8,500 jobs, or nearly 30 per cent of its pre-pandemic workforce, and the majority of its staff remain stood down and are receiving government support rather than their salaries.

The airline's chairman Richard Goyder, who also received no pay from April to July, said management and the board had shown important leadership in taking the salary cuts.

 
 

"This is obviously not the same hardship as those stood down or facing redundancy, but it comes at a time when demands on management are greater than ever," Mr Goyder said.

Qantas' rivals Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways have also announced salary cuts for senior leaders.