According to the most recent management proxy circular, BCE Inc. paid six executive officers a total of $15,761,246 or almost $0.02 per share in “One-Time Privatization Transaction Related Payments” during 2008. Now if memory serves when it was announced on Nov. 26, 2008 that the deal would not go through, BCE shares dropped $13.10 per share to close at $25.25, wiping out about $10 billion in shareholder value. The payments to George Cope, Siim Vanaselja, Kevin Crull, Wade Oosterman, Stephane Boisvert and Michael Sabia, represented “the sum of the non-recurring recognition and retention payments made in 2008.” The $15.8 million represents payments made in July 2008, and the second half of the payments were not made as the privatization did not occur. What sales person wouldn’t like a commission structure like this. Every contact with a customer could result in half the commission being paid even if the sale is not completed.
In addition, to $1,250,000 for the above privatization-that-never-occurred payments, Michael Sabia, who left in July 2008, received $14,236,139 in compensation “triggered at the time of his departure from Bell Canada and BCE in 2008.” He also received $729,167 in salary and $3,125,000 in incentive compensation. In total his about one-half-of-a-year compensation was $20,953,285 or about $0.025 per share.