Ahmed Fahour, the outgoing CEO of government-owned Australia Post, has walked away from the company with millions more than first thought.
In its remuneration report published on Friday, the national postal service confirmed that Mr Fahour was paid a total of $10.79 million after quitting earlier this year following controversy over the size of his secret salary deal.
His fat final pay cheque included $1.75 million in superannuation and a $4 million long-term bonus, which had accrued from 2015 and 2016.
The whopping $10.79 million was far above the $5 million estimates floating around ahead of the official confirmation.
Mr Fahour resigned in March amid public outcry at his pay, with even Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull labelling it “too high”.
The scandal was triggered when a Senate committee forced the government-owned postal service to reveal he was paid $4.4 million in salary and $1.2 million in bonuses in 2015-16.
Australia Post had tried to resist revealing the figure, arguing it could hurt the company.
New figures on CEO pay, published by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) earlier this week, found that Australian CEOs were still among the highest-paid in the world in 2016, with median pay of $3.78 million.
While Mr Fahour’s final pay was above expectations, it paled in comparison to last year’s biggest earner CEOs: Peter and Steven Lowy at Westfield ($26.3 million), Nicholas Moore at Macquarie ($25.7 million), and Don Meij at Domino’s ($21 million).
However, they all have one thing in common. The size of their pay packets were far larger than the public knew or expected. In the case of the top ten earners in listed companies, final pays were sometimes double expected levels.
What may raise eyebrows is the fact that Mr Fahour’s female replacement, former Blackmores CEO Christine Holgate, will receive substantially less – a maximum $2.75 million a year when she takes over at the publicly owned monopoly on October 30.
Her deal comprises a fixed base of $1.37 million and a potential short-term bonus capped at a similar amount and related to performance.
Earlier this year the government and the community were outraged when Mr Fahour’s previously undisclosed salary for 2016 was revealed as $5.6 million. It was around ten times that of prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Mr Fahour’s salary was not revealed by Australia Post, an action that was made legal for public authorities with rule changes introduced by the coalition two years ago.
However once Mr Fahour’s salary became public, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann wrote to the heads of seven government business enterprises demanding they reveal their executive remuneration packages.
From now on, Australia Post’s CEO pay will be set by the Remuneration Tribunal, rather than the company’s board. That move is aimed at keeping it within public expectations.
– with Rod Myer