Bombardier backtracks to delay planned executive pay hikes to 2020 after public backlash

Rebecca Smith
Bombardier boss Alain Bellemare said his firm was sensitive to the public reaction
Bombardier boss Alain Bellemare said his firm was sensitive to the public reaction (Source: Getty)

Bombardier will defer paying more than half of last year's planned compensation for its six highest paid executives until 2020 after a public backlash against the announcement.

The firm said it was "sensitive to the public reaction to our executive compensation practices", and chief executive Alain Bellemare said the deferred payment will only be payable if performance objectives are achieved; "delivering value to all our shareholders, including the people of Quebec and Canada".

Read more: Bombardier to cut 7,500 jobs over the next two years

Hundreds of people had gathered in front of the firm's Montreal headquarters yesterday to protest against the payouts - Bombardier was set to give $32.6m (£26m) to execs, up from $21m in 2015.

Pierre Beaudoin, Bombardier's executive chairman, said in a statement: "After listening to the recent public debate about the compensation of senior executives at Bombardier, I have asked the board of directors to reset my 2016 compensation, reducing it to the 2015 level.

The trust and confidence of our people and our governments are extremely important to the company, and to me.

It is clear that this situation has become a distraction to the important work done by our employees and senior management to return this great company to growth.

The Canadian company, whose recovery was propelled by taxpayer funds, had noted the public anger in its home province of Quebec. The plane and train maker had increased 2016 compensation nearly 50 per cent, after receiving $1bn in taxpayer aid and announcing its intention to cut more than 14,000 jobs worldwide.

It is in the midst of a five-year turnaround plan by Bellemare, appointed in early 2015 to boost the company's fortunes.

Read more: Crossrail picks Bombardier to build new trains

Premier of Quebec Philippe Couillard said on Twitter that he was satisfied with Bombardier's decision and that it was an important move for both the workers and population of the province.

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