High Court told of Dairygold annual bonus of up to 50% of six-figure salary
Jerry Henchy, former Dairygold chief executive, leaving the Four Courts yesterday after giving evidence in his High Court action. Photograph: Collins/Courts
Former Dairygold chief executive Jerry Henchy has told the High Court he was in line each year for an annual bonus which was potentially 50 per cent of his six-figure salary. The performance-related bonus, calculated on reaching certain targets, could be as much as half of his salary which came to about €560,000, the court was told.
The bonus was based on reaching targets on financial outcomes and key areas of responsibility, he said, and decided at the end of each year after negotiations with the remuneration committee of Dairygold.
He said his 2004 and 2005 bonus was paid out by Dairygold and the 2006 bonus paid out by Reox Holdings, a related company which merged with Dairygold in 2006. After the merger, Mr Henchy was joint chief executive of Dairygold and Reox. He divided his time between the two companies with the payment of his salary also divided between the two companies, the court was told.
In 2007, Dairygold wanted control over the bonus, he said. There was also discussion when setting targets for the 2007 bonus for senior managers in line with milk prices. It was felt it was not great to have bonuses paid out to managers when farmers were struggling “with lousy milk prices”, but the measure was not brought in, he said.
Mr Henchy (48), Kilmallock, Co Limerick, was continuing his evidence in his action against Dairygold Co-operative Society Ltd over his alleged termination in January 2009. He has not worked since.
He is suing for €8 million in damages alleging his employment as chief executive was wrongfully terminated for “spurious” reasons purporting to relate to some €159,000 being owed on his personal farm account with Dairygold.
The case continues.