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Harvey Norman Directors Pocket Tens Of Thousands, No JobKeeper Payback

Their company pocketed millions from JobKeeper; now the directors of Harvey Norman are putting thousands in their back pockets from share right options.

A lodgment to the ASX revealed that Gerry Harvey has exercised just over 35,000 performance rights in the company dating back to a 2015 incentive plan — worth roughly $210,000 at the stock’s last closing price.

Directors John Slack-Smith and David Ackery also almost immediately took their shares, as did CFO Chris Mentis — each netting holdings worth about $252,747.

The Australian Financial Review said of Gerry Harvey, ‘Timing is seemingly his strong suit; waiting the three months after the rights vested at the start of the year has given him a boost ahead of the scheme’s other benefactors, including partner Katie Page, who were quick to convert their rights in early January.’

Harvey Norman Director & COO, John Slack Smith

David Ackery, Executive Director, Harvey Norman

Harvey Norman CEO, Katie Page

There was no mention of whether the directors have had a change of heart and are going to repay the millions that Harvey Norman pocketed from JobKeeper payments.

The directors, John Slack-Smith, David Ackery, Katie Page and Chris Mentis, have defied political pressure to pay back an estimated $22 million in collected JobKeeper payments, despite the retailer’s profits having more than doubled during the pandemic.

Harvey Norman said it would pay dividends totalling $249 million, of which Harvey is set to receive $78 million due to his 31.4 per cent shareholding in the company.

“Australian taxpayers gave Harvey Norman and franchisees $22 million in JobKeeper,” Labor frontbencher Andrew Leigh said.

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