Qantas Shareholders Say “No” to Executive Payout Plans
Qantas shareholders expressed anger at the company’s annual meeting as they rejected the executive pay plans. The chairman, Richard Goyder, and CEO, Vanessa Hudson, apologised to investors for a tough year with falling share prices due to various problems. These problems include potential costly issues related to illegal outsourcing and selling tickets for cancelled flights. Shareholders also raised questions about the board’s ethics.
Despite the heated meeting and opposition to executive salaries, Qantas managed to secure its preferred board of directors, including the re-election of advertising expert Todd Sampson.
The meeting featured confrontational questions from shareholders, with some criticising the board’s ethics. The board defended its actions, but the meeting became unruly at times.
Shareholders overwhelmingly voted against the company’s executive pay plans, with 83% of votes against, marking one of the most significant rejections in Australian corporate history. This vote could leave the airline vulnerable to a second strike next year, potentially triggering a board overhaul. Qantas has faced challenges, including a share price drop, regulatory action, and rising oil prices. Despite these issues, the airline still holds significant COVID-related booking credits, and Hudson was elected as a director alongside her CEO role.