Telus CEO is once again the highest paid Canadian telecommunications CEO

Telus CEO Darren Entwistle, shown in 2019, received total compensation of $19.82 million in 2021, according to the company’s recently filed proxy statement.AMBER BRACKEN/The Canadian Press

Canada’s highest-paid telecommunications CEO looks set to retain that title for the foreseeable future.

Darren Entwistle, CEO of Telus Corp. TT and the longest-serving CEO in the Canadian telecommunications industry, received total compensation of $19.82 million in 2021, according to the company’s recently filed proxy statement. That’s up from $13.29 million the previous year, when he was also Canada’s highest-paid telecommunications CEO by a wide margin. The year-over-year increase was due to a rise in equity-based awards and an increase in the company’s estimate of Mr. Entwistle’s pension.

His salary was $1.54 million, down from $1.03 million in 2020, when Mr. Entwistle chose to donate a quarter of his salary to pandemic-related causes. Telus announced the value of its 2021 stock awards at $13.11 million. His cash bonus was $1.11 million, up from $855,980 in 2020.

Mr. Entwistle has been the CEO of Telus for more than 20 years, unlike his peers at BCE Inc. and Rogers Communications Inc., who have both assumed the title for the past two and a half years. Mr. Entwistle’s key achievements in 2021 included overseeing the successful initial public offering of Telus’ business and IT services unit, Telus International, and growing Telus’ customer base by 960,000, a disclosed by the company in the proxy statement.

All of Telus’ top-paid executives have seen their bonuses rise and the estimated value of their pensions rise dramatically, with Mr. Entwistle’s pension increasing by $3.92 million in 2021. The pension amounts that Telus and Other companies report in their annual compensation statements, which are required by regulators, that cash is not placed in accounts. These are estimates of the increase – or, in rare cases, decrease – in senior executives’ pensions based on their earnings over the past year. Telus attributed the 2021 changes to “market-based wage increases over previous years.”

The company also noted that two executives – Eros Spadotto, executive vice president of technology strategy and business transformation, and François Gratton, executive vice president of Telus Health, Telus Agriculture and Telus Quebec – have seen their positions abolished at the end of last year. as part of a restructuring.

Telus said its disclosure of “all other compensation” of $2.90 million for Mr. Spadotto and $2.95 million for Mr. Gratton included their severance and other payments, such as contributions of the employer under the company’s employee stock purchase plan. These latter amounts were typically under $20,000 for both men in previous years’ disclosures. Telus said that as part of their severance agreements, Mr. Spadotto and Mr. Gratton’s severance pay was increased from 18 months salary and performance bonus to 24 months “to reflect their 25 and 20 years service, respectively”.

Telus changed its timing for reporting the value of stock awards, which led it to revise Mr. Entwistle’s compensation for 2020 by $16.04 million, as it disclosed in its proxy circular. 2021, at $13.29 million. The change makes Mr Entwistle’s pay rise in 2021 seem bigger than it would otherwise be.

Mirko Bibic, CEO of BCE Inc., also got a pay raise last year. He took home $11.14 million in total compensation, up from $9.48 million in 2020. The increase was due to his cash bonus nearly doubling to $3.19 million from 1.61 million dollars the previous year. Bonuses have increased by 50% or more for other senior executives.

The company scored its “Corporate Performance Index,” an assessment of several financial and strategic goals, at 105% in 2021. In pandemic-ravaged 2020, BCE BCE-T scored just 25% on its performance indicators.

BCE stopped using stock options to compensate executives last year. The company’s board compensation committee conducted a review in 2020 and decided to modify its long-term incentive plan to, it said, “discourage undue risk-taking in the short term.” term “.

At Rogers Communications Inc. RCI-BT, Tony Staffieri, who was named interim CEO in November after a battle for control of the wireless giant, earned $4.58 million last year. Mr. Staffieri served as chief financial officer for most of 2021, was fired at the end of September and then rehired in the top job. In 2020, he received $4.19 million in total compensation.

Rogers said Mr. Staffieri will receive a total compensation package in 2022 that is expected to exceed $10 million. He will receive a salary of 1.4 million dollars. His bonus will have a target of $1.4 million, but could go up to $2.8 million. He will also receive a long-term equity award equal to 536% of his salary. That price would be $7.5 million.

Rogers said it was “moderately over budget” for several financial goals that make up its annual bonus plan. However, “the company underperformed its major competitors,” it said in its proxy statement. Management has therefore recommended – and the human resources committee of the board of directors has supported it – to maintain the annual cash bonus for 2021 at 110% of its target for senior executives.

Joe Natale, who was ousted as CEO of Rogers last November, walked away with a severance package of $14.11 million, bringing his total compensation for 2021 to $27.38 million. The previous year, Mr. Natale earned $11.22 million in total compensation.

Shaw Communications Inc. SJR-BT paid CEO Bradley Shaw $11.94 million in its 2021 fiscal year, which ended August 31, compared to $6.87 million the previous year. The Globe and Mail reported Mr Shaw’s compensation in December when the company first disclosed it.

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