Glanbia chief financial officer (CFO) Mark Garvey is to be paid almost three-quarters of a million euro extra just for staying in his job.

Former CEO Siobhán Talbot is being paid more than €1m for not taking a new job in 2024.

The board of Glanbia was concerned that, in the wake of the retirement of Siobhán Talbot, they might also lose the company’s CFO and, with him, a considerable amount of corporate knowledge.

Writing in the company’s annual report published this week, the chair of the remuneration committee said that Garvey is “highly regarded by the external market” and, due to his dual Irish and US citizenship, “could easily transition to a US-based role where market rates of remuneration are significantly higher”.

The once-off bonus, which Glanbia calls a “retention award”, is to be paid as 42,545 shares in the company, which Garvey can only sell if he is still in his post on 31 December 2025. Those shares are currently worth €736,000.


To be clear, all that Garvey has to do to get the extra money is not quit. There are no other requirements to earn the payout.

Even Glanbia themselves admit that “retention-based awards are not common practice for Irish and UK listed companies” and emphasise that it is a “one-off exceptional award in unusual circumstances”.

For Talbot, the CEO who retired at the end of last year, there will also be more pay in this year. She will get her base salary of €95,333 per month for all of 2024 as part of a post-employment non-compete restrictive covenant.

Looking back to 2023, Glanbia’s annual report gives a breakdown of the pay for both Garvey and Talbot.

The former CEO, as well as her base salary of €1,144,002, received a short-term bonus of €2,802,805 and a long-term bonus of €3,485,421, plus other benefits of €517,000, giving her a total remuneration in her last year of €7,939,228.

For Garvey, the total remuneration taking into account base salary, bonuses and benefits, was €3,569,740. He has been granted a basic pay rise of 4% for 2024.

The median salary paid to workers at Glanbia in 2023 was €65,000.

Golden handcuffs

Both the extra bonus for Garvey and the extra year of salary for Talbot are examples of what is know in business as golden handcuffs.

The idea behind the payments is to reward someone (the golden) for not doing something (the handcuff).

In Garvey’s case, the thing he is not to do is leave. In Talbot’s case, the thing she is not to do is start working for a competitor.