Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary might wind up some of his customers, but the board clearly love what he's doing for the budget airline.
O'Leary – whose quotes include comparing the BA/Iberia merger to a pair of drunks leaning on each other and once admitted that passengers are “bombarded” with offers the minute they look like they're about to sleep – has just signed a new five-year contract with the airline.
The new agreement commits him to the company until September 2019 and replaces the 12-month rolling contract, which he has been working under since 1997.
O'Leary has also been granted options on more than five million ordinary shares, which on today's share price would be worth more than £3.6m.
These options will only vest if the airline delivers “exceptional performance targets” over the next five years, which have been set by the remuneration committee.
Those targets include growing traffic by 50 per cent, from 81 million customers last year to more than 120 million customers in 2019.
O'Leary has been chief executive since the Irish airline floated on the Nasdaq in 1997, when it had three million customers.
Ryanair's share price was down 1.2 per cent this afternoon.