Qantas CEO postpones decision over $3.3 million worth bonus

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The chief executive officer of Qantas Airways, Alan Joyce, has not decided yet whether to accept or not an additional bonus of $1.5 million worth of airline shares. Those were awarded to him despite the fact that the flag carrier of Australia continued to make a loss in FY2021 due to pandemic-related slump in the air travel demand.

The Board of Qantas Airways rewarded CEO Alan Joyce with 325,500 airline shares as a performance bonus, which is worth $1.5 million at the current carrier’s share price. The move was motivated by the long-term performance of the airline‘s share price, which “outperformed the majority of the company’s airline peers,” as written in Qantas annual report.

However, Joyce refused to accept the shares for the time being and agreed with the Board to postpone his decision over the acceptance of the bonus toAugust 2022, local media reported on September 17, 2021. The boss of the Sydney-based airline has also not collected yet his long-term reward of $1.8 million worth 343,500 Qantas shares, which were allocated to him in FY2020.

If Joyce takes both bonuses, he will own a total of 669,000 airline shares, which stand at $3.7 million at the current share price.

According to the chairman of the Remuneration Committee Paul Rayner, wages of airline executives were cut by around 70% in FY2021, compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, while their workloads increased. This raised concerns to the Board on how the airline could retain its senior management team during the crisis.

“In that context, it is more critical than ever that the Group retains its talent, because the delivery of the Three-Year Recovery Plan and the other key outcomes required to set our business for success beyond the pandemic depends upon the effort and acumen of our executive leadership in particular,” Paul Rayner was quoted saying in the airline’s statement.

“The Board is particularly concerned that a continued loss of capability and experience will materially inhibit the Group’s ability to deliver the key outcomes required for success beyond the pandemic,” Rayner added.

The Board also considers the possibility of rewarding all of its employees in the second half of FY2021.


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