After public outcry, Bombardier executive chairman cuts back salary

Bombardier executive chairman Pierre Beaudoin says he's asked for a pay cut just one day after the company was slammed for giving big raises to him, and its top five executives.

Beaudoin brought the request to the company's board of directors on Friday.

"After listening to the recent public debate about the compensation of senior executives at Bombardier, I have asked the board of directors to reset my 2016 compensation, reducing it to the 2015 level," he said in a news release, adding it had become a distraction.

In 2016 Beaudoin's compensation increased to $5.25 million US. That was up from $3.85 million US in 2015.

On Thursday it was revealed Bombardier's senior executives saw their compensation rise by nearly 50 per cent last year. Beaudoin was among them.

Earlier Friday, senior Quebec cabinet ministers said Bombardier must respond to the shock it created among citizens and elected officials regarding increased executive pay, considering that the company was getting hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies.

Bombardier spokesperson Simon Letendre told CBC News that Beaudoin had not yet received his 2016 salary

Financial aid, recent job cuts

The federal government issued a $372.5-million loan last month for the CSeries and Global 7000 programs, while the province recently poured $1 billion US into the CSeries program in exchange for a 49.5 per cent stake.

The province's pension fund manager, the Caisse de dépôt, also bought a 30 per cent stake in the company's railway division for $1.5 billion US.

Bombardier has announced job cuts totalling 14,500 positions worldwide over the last two years as it tries to regain its financial footing.

The company cut its loss to $981 million US last year, down from $5.34 billion US in 2015 despite lower revenues.

Critics have called the salary increases unacceptable and said that they should be reversed.