This story in today's New Zealand Herald bears out exactly what I said in a recent column about chief executives always managing to come out ahead, regardless of how well their company performs. Whatever the mysterious formula for calculating their entitlements, it's obviously failsafe.
'Former Meridian Energy chief executive Tim Lusk was paid $1.37 million, including more than $800,000 in bonuses, during his last six months with the state-owned power company.
Mr Lusk's pay during a period when Meridian's profits fell sharply was disclosed in its annual report, which also revealed the company's generous pay to other top executives.
The company paid $1.84 million in chief executive remuneration during the year to June.
That included $1.37 million to Mr Lusk, who left last December, and $471,605 to his replacement, Mark Binns, who took over the next month.
Mr Lusk's pay was made up of $554,409 in fixed remuneration and $812,177 in "at risk performance incentive payments", or bonuses.
But the year to June was not a good one for Meridian, New Zealand's largest power company. Its net profit fell from $303.1 million to $74.6 million.
.... Meridian chairman Chris Moller defended the amount paid to Mr Lusk, saying the large short-term bonuses were effectively accumulated over 18 months, and $182,266 in bonuses for long-term performance related to a three-year period, including "a record year" for the firm.'
Ain't that always the way?