by Renai LeMay

SEEK CIO picks up $168k pay rise in strong year

Aug 24, 2010
CareersIT LeadershipIT Management

The chief information officer of SEEK has picked up an extra $168,000 over the past year, as the online employment giant’s revenues and profits soared over the past year.

In the year to 30 June 2010, Carey Eaton picked up a total of $476,182 in benefits, composed of $270,000 worth of salary and the rest in bonuses, superannuation and shares. During the previous year he made $308,103 — although he only joined the company partway through the year, in September 2008.

The salary will likely make Eaton one of Australia’s better-paid chief information officers. It is common for public sector CIOs to earn up to $200k annually, although top technology executives at major private corporations such as Australia’s largest banks pick up much more — up to several million.

Eaton joined SEEK as a product director in 2007 after working at News Limited’s CareerOne site, as well as managing regional internet strategy for recruiter Michael Page.

The news was revealed in SEEK’s annual financial results, in which the employment giant also revealed skyrocketing revenues and profits. Other executives also received substantial pay rises; SEEK’s two founders, Andrew and Paul Bassat, each picked up total remuneration of $1.2 million over the past year, compared with packages in excess of $800,000 the year before.

SEEK’s revenue jumped 35 per cent over the past year to hit $280.9 million, and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation grew 20 percent to reach $97.8 million. Net profit after tax was also up 62 per cent, reaching $89.5 million.

“SEEK has experienced sustained and consistent month on month growth in job ads,” the company’s joint chief executive, Paul Bassat, said in a statement. “Online job ad volume growth is outpacing growth in print job ads on a [previous corresponding period] basis. This reflects the trend of continued structural migration from print to online, with online now capturing approximately 80 percent of all job ads.”

SEEK itself picked up “a record” 3.9 million unique browsers in June — which the company said accounted for nearly eight out of every 10 minutes Australians spent searching for jobs online.

Despite this, Bassat said SEEK was well positioned for further growth.

“There are still segments in the market where SEEK is under-penetrated and the majority of job ad spend still resides in print,” he said. “If the current labour market trajectory continues, expect SEEK to be the primary beneficiary, giving its market-leading position and exposure to favourable structural trends.”

The company has also been active internationally, with the acquisition of 40 per cent of Mexico’s number one online job site, and has assets in Brazil and China. This year, SEEK declared a fully franked final dividend of 6.7 cents — to be paid on 15 October.