The former boss of Thomas Cook is going through calls for to repay bonuses to staff who have been left jobless after the corporate’s dramatic collapse.
Ex-chief government Peter Fankhauser earned a £750,000 bonus in 2017, 30 per cent of which was in shares, a cross-party committee of MPs heard.
He stated sorry to workers who ‘worked extremely hard and tirelessly’ however was advised his apology ‘rings rather hollow’ except he is keen to ‘put something back’.
Committee chair and Labour MP Rachel Reeves stated his bonus cash could possibly be ‘put to better purpose’ similar to redundancy funds or compensation for taxpayers.
Althought the Government refused to stump up the £200m wanted to preserve its enterprise afloat, it did spend £100 million bringing some 150,000 stranded vacationers house.
The firm’s collapse affected 21,000 jobs worldwide, 9,000 of which have been within the UK.
Mr Fankhauser is one among 5 former board members giving proof to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee.
He stated how ‘deeply sorry we are that we couldn’t save this iconic model’ and apologised for the disress brought on to tens of millions of consumers and suppliers who have been ‘loyal to us throughout this time’.
When requested about redistributing his bonus funds, he stated he will ‘consider what is right but I’m not going to resolve that at this time’.
Mr Fankhauser has taken house £8.Four million since 2014, together with £4.6 million in bonus funds, it has been reported.
Directors of the world’s oldest journey firm have been accused of treating themselves to £47 million in pay and bonuses over the previous 10 years.
The listening to was attended by a number of former Thomas Cook staff who have been wearing their uniforms.
Ms Reeves advised Mr Fankhauser they ‘do your company proud’ and urged him to “go away and replicate on the massive salaries you’ve earned’.
The former boss advised the listening to he had no contact with UK ministers within the six day working up to Thomas Cook going into liquidation on the morning of Monday, September 23.
But he stated ministers from Germany, Bulgaria, Turkey and Greeve had all contacted him personally through the course of.
Asked why nobody from the BEIS division had been contacted, Mr Fankhauser stated: ‘We were instructed and heavily advised by the transport ministry that they are the single point of contact.’
The committee was fast to query a few of the accounting insurance policies, together with the choice to embody a £2.5 billion ‘goodwill’ worth on the enterprise in 2018.
MPs additionally requested the bosses why they primarily based bonuses on earnings that excluded one-off funds to pay for the restructuring.
A complete of £1.Eight billion was written off as ‘exceptional’ prices over eight years.
Ms Reeves stated: ‘The proof of the pudding is considerably within the consuming and also you failed to flip round this enterprise.
‘In the end you couldn’t simply conceal these numbers (distinctive prices) ceaselessly, they caught up with you.’
She additionally known as the previous Thomas Cook chairman Frank Meysman ‘deluded’ over the collapse.
Ms Reeves added: ‘You can level to as many successes as you want, however you will have introduced down a 178-year enterprise with enormous repercussions for purchasers, staff and taxpayers.
‘You can point to the successes, but I’ll level to the failures, and so they massively outweigh the successes you’ve spoken about.
‘I think you’re deluded, Mr Meysman, concerning the enterprise you ran.’
Giving proof to the committee at a separate listening to, Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom stated she was advised about Thomas Cook’s struggles a month earlier than the journey agency collapsed.
But she stated serving to it financially would have been akin to ‘throwing good money after bad’.
Asked why the Government didn’t bail the journey firm out, Ms Leadson advised MPs: ‘It was quite clearly the fact that the £200 million plus – and I can only speak for the final endgame – that the company was looking for would only have dealt with it in the short term.’