Irish-born Qantas CEO Alan Joyce defends €14m salary: 'Shareholders want me to be incentivised'

IRISH-BORN Qantas airline CEO has defended his AU$24 million (€14.8m), saying that the company’s shareholders want him to be incentivised.

Alan Joyce, who is originally from Tallaght in Dublin, defended his position as Australia’s highest-earning CEO after taking home AU$23,876,351 in 2018.

Speaking at the National Press Club in Australia earlier this week, he said: “My salary was determined by our shareholders. By the way, that information is now over two years’ old. The salary has come down quite significantly since then.

“But that was because the Qantas share price went from $1 to $6. That’s because our market capital went from just over $2 billion to $10 billion. And our shareholders did exceptionally well out of it, and every report that Qantas has had, has had a 98 per cent or 99 per cent support.

“The shareholders want the CEO and the management to be incentivised to actually turn the company around. And it was, I think, the biggest turnaround in corporate Australian history. That’s why that happened.”

He has been CEO of Qantas since 2008 and confirmed that he will remain in the role until at least 2022, when the airline hopes to start direct routes from Sydney to London and New York.

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Mr Joyce made international headlines this year when his advice to a young aviation enthusiast went viral.

Alex Jacquot (10), explained he is the CEO and co-founder of Oceania Express and wanted advice on how to make his business a success, urging Mr Joyce to take him seriously.

Alex wrote: “I like working on my airline. Seeing as it is the school holidays, I have more time to work.

“But I don’t have anything to do (that I can think of).

“Do you have any ideas of what I can do? Seeing as you are the CEO of Qantas I thought I’d ask you.”

Mr Joyce replied, saying: “We want to think up as many ideas as possible to make the journey more comfortable for all.

“For this reason, I would like to invite you to a Project Sunrise meeting between myself, as the CEO of Australia’s oldest airline, and you, as the CEO of Australia’s newest airline.”

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