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Figures released by Queenstown Airport Corporation show Sowry, who started in the job earlier this month, has a base salary of $490,000 with the potential to earn another $80,000 a year in bonuses, taking his potential salary to $570,000 for this financial year, on par with his predecessor Colin Keel, whose salary was in the $570,000-$580,000 bracket by the time he left.
Sowry’s previous role was as chief executive of Metlife Care, a retirement care business.
According to its 2020 annual report, Sowry’s total remuneration for the year ended June, 2020, was $786,555.
In his new job, his performance is linked to several things, like achieving the Statement of Intent objectives and targets, including completing a strategic business plan with a 10-year outlook; ensuring the continued stable financial performance of the airport company through the uncertainty of Covid, safeguarding its core capacity to operate vital and lifeline airport infrastructure and to support the recovery of the district; and open engagement with the airport’s communities, shareholders, customers and supply base.
Along with an annual remuneration review, there’s a retention bonus of up to $100,000 if Sowry stays in the job three years.
The at-risk component of Sowry’s annual package will be formally assessed by the board at the end of each year and paid in full, in part, or not at all.
The salary package means Sowry’s on less than other chief executives in similar airport roles.
By comparison, Christchurch International Airport Ltd boss Malcolm Johns received performance-related bonuses of $100,000 and $80,000 in the last financial year, elevating his salary package to $898,640.
Star News reported in February his $100,000 incentive, relating to ‘‘long-term strategy that builds shareholder value’’, including Tarras International Airport in Central Otago, was paid in full.
But $20,000 from his other $100,000 incentive was withheld, due to the impact of ‘‘short-term commercial outcomes in the last four months of the year from Covid-19’’.
Wellington Airport boss Steve Sanderson - who had the reins of Queenstown Airport for over four years before moving to the capital in 2012 - is pulling in between $1.37 million and $1.38m, while Auckland International Airport CEO Adrian Littlewood’s salary band’s between $1.65m and $1.66m.