Telus CEO Picks Salary in Company Shares Instead of Cash

Yesterday, Telus reported its Q1 earnings, seeing customer growth year-over-year, due to high demand for mobility and fixed services.

Telus saw 45,000 net mobile phone additions, while mobile network revenue and fixed data services increased 2.9% and 2.7% respectively. There are now over 9.8 million mobile phone subscribers.

The company’s net income was at $140 million, down 38% compared to the year-ago quarter. Telus blamed this on a variety of factors, including capital and restructuring costs it said. The company saw operating revenue and other income total $4.9 billion for the quarter, down 0.6%.

“In the first quarter, our team once again delivered against our differentiated growth strategy, leveraging our superior asset portfolio, consistent execution track record and proactive cost efficiency initiatives to deliver industry-leading customer additions and solid financial results against the backdrop of a dynamic operating environment,” said Darren Entwistle, President and CEO.

Part of the announcement yesterday was Entwistle noting he will now take his salary in company shares, instead of cash. He similarly did this from 2010 through 2015.

The CEO purchased 395,843 common Telus shares in 2023 and held a total of 799,209 common shares at the end of the same year, which is 12x his base salary in share ownership, says the company. Those shares are worth over $17.7 million based on today’s Telus share price of $22.16 per share.

Telus held its annual shareholder meeting yesterday, where shareholders cast their vote on Entwistle’s compensation. Shareholder proxy advisor firm Glass Lewis & Co. had argued against the Telus CEO’s 2023 pay increase, which made him the highest-paid telecom executive in Canada, taking in over $21 million in 2023.

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