Chief of ESB sees salary fall 30%

THE chief executive of the ESB saw his pay fall almost 30% to €528,886 last year but the chairman’s salary increased.

Chairman Lochlann Quinn’s pay increased 12% to €78,750, according to the ESB’s 2010 annual report.

This news comes as the ESB said it plans to pay a dividend of €77m to the Exchequer for 2010.

CEO Padraic McManus did not receive a bonus last year or a long term incentive. In 2009 he received a bonus of €105,410 and a long term incentive payment of €103,906.

The 11 board members received a total payment of €151,458 in 2010.

The report states Mr McManus took a 10% cut in his salary in April 2009 while the board members also took a 10% cut.

The company paid out €66,907 in travel expenses to board members last year and €6,741 in expenses for “entertainment” and €13,292 on conference expenses.

Mr McManus announced in March that he plans to retire from his post when a successor is found. Over the years he has come under pressure because of his earnings which have ballooned by about €100,000 a year from €495,227 in 2006.

He has however seen his pay cut in the last two years and has also forgone his bonus.

Mr McManus was appointed to the top job at the ESB in February 2002 for a seven-year period but this contract was later extended by three years.

ESB reported an operating profit of €339m last year and Mr Quinn said annual revenues were €2.7bn and the level of investment in electricity infrastructure remained high. The former monopoly posted a loss of €84m in 2010 compared with a profit of €580m a year before.

Revenue fell to €2.7bn from €3.1bn and its market share fell to 42 percent from 50 percent due to increased competition from private-sector rivals, a trend it hopes to reverse.

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