Nutrien paid more than US$32-million to former CEOs – by David Milstead and Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – April 5, 2022)

Agricultural giant Nutrien Inc. paid a combined US$32.7-million to former CEOs Chuck Magro and Mayo Schmidt since the beginning of 2021, illustrating the high cost of the company’s executive-suite revolving door.

The Saskatoon company said it paid Mr. Magro US$18.48-million in 2021, including US$8.09-million in severance and consulting payments after it fired him in April. The company said it paid his successor Mr. Schmidt, who had previously been serving as the company’s chairman, US$9.38-million in 2021, and another $4.83-million in severance in January when it fired him.

The details are included in the company’s proxy circular to shareholders. Mr. Magro became chief executive of Indianapolis-based seed-and-chemical company Corteva Inc. in October, and Nutrien says it got a payment of US$18.7-million from Corteva as compensation for allowing Mr. Magro to work for another agricultural company in contravention of his restrictive employment covenants.

On Jan. 4, Nutrien said Ken Seitz, formerly the head of its potash fertilizer operations, would become its interim president and CEO. The human resources and compensation committee of Nutrien’s board “remains satisfied the executive compensation program at Nutrien has a sound governance structure and is in line with those of our peers,” Keith Martell, the committee’s chair, wrote to shareholders in the circular.

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