Former DONG boss gets huge golden parachute

An arbitration hearing found that Anders Eldrup did not act disloyally or abuse his position of power by granting sky-high wages to four key employees

The state-owned energy provider DONG Energy has been forced to hand over around 17 million kroner to its former head, Anders Eldrup, after an arbitration hearing found that he did not violate his employment contract by paying sky-high wages to four key staff members.

Aside from the golden handshake of 8.7 million kroner, the sacked boss was also granted a bonus of 1.7 million kroner, a fee that is to be paid within 14 days of the decision.

An arbitration clause means that Eldrup is not permitted to reveal the decision itself, but he said in a press release that he was pleased that the case had been concluded.

“I am satisfied with the hearing results. I have never been in doubt that I acted correctly and in the best interests of DONG,” Eldrup said. “A lot has been written about the case, but now I can put it behind me and focus on the many new activities that I’ve taken up since leaving DONG.”

Allegations of power abuse
After he was fired back in March 2012, Eldrup continued to receive his annual six-million kroner salary for an additional year as part of his severance package, but DONG withheld his bonus and other parts of his severance package, citing that he had acted disloyally and abused his position of power

The labour union Djøf, which has supported Eldrup during the case, expressed delight that the decision fell in Eldrup’s favour.

“For Djøf, it is essential that an employer respects the terms of the employment contract when the employment is brought to an end,” Allan Luplau, the head of Djøf’s section for the private sector, said in a press release.

Aside from Eldrup’s payout, DONG has also had to cover the costs of the case, about 2.5 million kroner, bringing the total spent on the Eldrup case up to almost 20 million kroner.

DONG has yet to comment on the decision. The company replaced Eldrup with new CEO Henrik Poulsen in April 2012.