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Mar 23, 2018

Bombardier executive pay rises to US$33.4M in 2017

A Bombardier logo is seen at the Bombardier plant in Belfast

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MONTREAL -- Bombardier's executive compensation rose seven per cent to US$33.4 million in 2017, according to a circular released ahead of the company's May 3 annual meeting.

The increase comes after a year marked by improved results, but also by the Airbus takeover of the C Series program without the company having to pay a single cent.

The transportation giant's executive pay scale made headlines last year, when the company announced it was boosting executive pay by nearly 50 per cent as it was laying off thousands of workers and receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies.

The resulting public outcry led the company's CEO to ask the board of directors to delay some of the planned payments until 2020.

The US$33.4 million in compensation takes into account the US$2.6 million paid to Pierre Beaudoin, who stepped down from his role as executive chairman last June 30 following the compensation scandal.

Beaudoin, who remains chairman of the board, will now earn a $500,000 salary, with another $250,000 for representing the company abroad.

Without taking into account Beaudoin's remuneration, total executive compensation rose 12 per cent last year.

CEO Alain Bellemare saw his total pay climb to US$10.63 million, while the company's chief financial officer and the heads of the business jet, commercial airplane and transportation divisions also saw increases.

In total, the performance bonuses of the top five executives of the multinational reached US$7 million.

In the circular, Bombardier explained that its executives achieved their bonuses by exceeding fixed targets and spending less than anticipated.

Bombardier ended the fiscal year by reducing its net loss to US$553 million, or 25 cents per share, while its revenues remained stable at US$16.2 billion.

However, the company earned an adjusted profit of US$63 million compared with an adjusted loss of US$268 million in 2016.

2018 will also mark the retirement of Laurent Beaudoin, who has indicated he will leave the board of directors on May 3, 10 days before his 80th birthday. He will have spent 43 years as an administrator with the company.

His retirement will mean nine of the 14 candidates on the board of directors will be independent members who are not part of Bombardier's founding family.