SingPost CEO Coutts takes 5% pay cut in “show of solidarity” with SG; he earns $1m in salary last FY

Last week, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced that the President, all Cabinet ministers – including PM Lee – and political office-holders will take a one-month pay cut “in solidarity with Singaporeans” coping with the coronavirus outbreak.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) Chief Executive, Goh Choon Phong also announced that senior management of SIA will take a pay cut too. Goh himself personally volunteered to take a 15 per cent pay cut. Other companies which have announced similar pay cuts include Temasek Holdings, CapitaLand, SMRT and SATS.

Likewise, SingPost announced yesterday (4 Mar) that it too will cut salaries and freeze pay for its senior management in light of the current coronavirus outbreak.

Starting April, senior vice-presidents and above will have their pay reduced by 5 per cent, said Chief Executive of SingPost, Paul Coutts.

Assistant vice-presidents and above will also have their pay and promotion increments frozen. Those ranked senior manager and below will not be affected. Effectively immediately, SingPost will also freeze hiring except for essential roles, subject to approval.

Coutts said as the government and leading businesses have taken the lead in implementing measures in light of the outbreak, SingPost would do likewise “amid this uncertain and challenging environment in a show of solidarity”.

According to the latest SingPost annual report, Coutts was paid $1,835,000 last year including bonuses. His fixed pay was $1 million and his total package was $2,068,000, which did not include any shares or share options.

SingPost hires Paul Coutts to replace Wolfgang Baier

After the previous CEO Wolfgang Baier, an Austrian, abruptly resigned due to “personal reasons” and left SingPost in mid-2016, SingPost’s CEO position was vacant for about a year.

Then on 1 Jun 2017, SingPost appointed Paul Coutts as the new CEO. Coutts joined SingPost from the Toll Group. SingPost said he has more than 20 years of experience in “C-suite positions at major global logistics and postal companies”.

Under Baier, two US e-commerce companies Jagged Peak and TradeGlobal were acquired by SingPost. Last year, the 2 loss-making companies underwent bankruptcy proceeding in the US and were later sold off causing SingPost to incur high losses.


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