Friday 31 October 2014

Why eircom bosses refuse to talk to me

Published 01/06/2014 | 02:30

Enda Kenny of Ireland Inc plays ball with Herb Hribar of Eircom

SO I rang eircom to have a chat with chief executive Herb Hribar.

No way, said his flunkey. We're not disposed to talking to you – because you keep writing about the executive bonuses.

Seriously?

Afraid so.

So, eircom won't talk to me about why only 10,000 people – less than the population of Ballina – have signed up to watch Jack Bauer in 24 on its much hyped TV service.

Or how it's going to deal with UPC parking tanks on its "quad play" lawn now that it has a mobile deal with 3 Ireland?

Or why it might be about to pay the biggest penalty in Irish telecoms history, as it sets aside €7m to deal with a Comreg knuckle rap?

But at least I know plenty about the bonuses. Hribar (above with Taoiseach Enda Kenny) and his small executive squad could net as much as €60m if the upcoming IPO flies. The bonus kicks in if they can essentially raise the value of eircom above €1.8bn. The executives are in line for 10 per cent of any increase in value above that level. This is capped at €2.4bn. They are also entitled to bonuses on the paydown of senior debt.

A nice little earner. And all it took was getting rid of 2,000 staff. That's a potential bonus of €30,000 for every job they axed.

Sunday Indo Business

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