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8/31/2008
Virginians Pay Australian Toll CEO Salary
Virginia motorists paid $13.7 million in tolls to an Australian company that paid its former CEO $14.3 million.

Former CEO Kim Edwards
It took more than a year's worth of toll revenue on a Virginia highway just to pay a single employee of an Australian firm. Last year, Virginia motorists handed the Melbourne-based company that operates the Pocahontas Parkway near Richmond a total of $13.7 million in tolls and fees. The amount reflected a significant increase over the previous year as Transurban raised toll rates steeply in January, but it failed to cover the salary of CEO Kim Edwards who pocketed $9.2 million in bonuses and $5.2 million in termination benefits for his departure from the company in April. Combined with his salary, his total payout was A$16,664,532 (US $14,316,553).

Now that Edwards is gone, Virginia tolls do not even cover the multi-million dollar compensation packages offered to Transurban's top six executives. New CEO Chris Lynch takes the largest share with $3,839,783 in compensation. The other seven-figure employees take home the following in pay and other benefits:
  • North America President Michael Kulper, $3,056,337
  • Chief Financial Officer Chris Brant, $2,289,561
  • Chief Operating Officer Brendan Bourke, $2,245,434
  • Executive Vice President Ken Daley, $1,917,822
  • Group General Manager P O'Shea, $1,764,101
  • Total Compensation for key management: $34,651,427
The massive payments were made despite the company's net operating loss of more than $140 million. Transurban is not alone in imposing massive overhead costs on motorists for the operation of toll roads. Our analysis shows that even the best managed toll roads in the US are twenty-five times less efficient in collecting revenue than state gas tax collection (view report).



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