Natale received a total compensation of $11.6 million, which included a $6.2 million “transition payment” when Entwistle took over as CEO in August. Natale remained at the company until the end of the year.
At the end of the year the company paid Entwistle $12.5 million, which included a $2.7 million “contract renegotiation grant” for reassuming the position of CEO. The compensation totals were disclosed in the company’s annual information circular, which was filed with security regulators on Friday.
Telus chief corporate officer Josh Blair said that the “contract renegotiation payment” made to Entwistle was a given as shares in the company. In an interview on Monday, Blair said:
“Given how critical Darren’s leadership is to the continuity of Telus’s strategy, the company felt that given these concessions, and his leadership, it was a very good move to make.”
Blair says that he doesn’t expect shareholders to oppose the company’s payments to both of its serving CEOs. In a statement, he said:
“I think the No. 1 thing shareholders want to see is continuity through effective succession planning, and that’s what the Telus board has ensured through this process.”
Associate professor of law, governance and ethics at York University Richard Leblanc said that the transition payment was oddly large. He added that Telus’ report used technical language to explain the payment, but didn’t once explain how it linked to some form of performance or how Natale provided assistance during the transition period that would have a direct impact on market value.
In 2015, Entwistle was paid a base salary of $1.375 million and Natale was paid $1.324 million. During the interview, Blair noted that Entwistle has taken his base salary as Telus shares for the last six years.