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Dublin: 10°C Tuesday 19 January 2021
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ESB announces new chief executive - with pay above €250k cap

Pat O’Doherty, the energy provider’s international operations director, will succeed Padraig McManus – on a salary of €318,000.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

ESB HAS ANNOUNCED the appointment of Pat O’Doherty as its new chief executive – on a salary some 31 per cent above the government’s pay cap for semi-state companies.

Pat O’Doherty, who is the provider’s current international operations director, will succeed Padraig McManus. McManus had been chief executive since 2002, and had worked with ESB since 1973.

O’Doherty said he was looking forward to leading the company – but immediately stepped into a political row over the size of his pay packet.

Fianna Fáil deputy leader Éamon Ó Cuív said he accepted that while it was difficult to reduce the pay of people who were already in semi-state positions, he could not understand how O’Doherty had been given such a high pay packet for his new role.

“In the case of the ESB, it was widely accepted that the salary and entitlements of the outgoing Chief Executive were excessive,” Ó Cuív said, referring to McManus’s pay which had reached over €750,000 when bonuses for 2009 were included.

“But we now have a situation where the new Chief Executive is also being recruited on an annual salary that is €68,000 in excess of the €250,000 cap set by the previous finance minister, Brian Lenihan, in December.”

McManus had said in April, after announcing his retirement, that ESB would found it difficult to find a worthy candidate for the position without breaking the €250k pay cap, given the pay that candidates could earn in the private sector.

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Gavan Reilly

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