Cruise chief's €1.3m payoff set to anger Costa Concordia disaster victims

 

Jim Armitage
Wednesday 08 January 2014 01:00
Comments
A salvage team works at the wreck of the 'Costa Concordia'
A salvage team works at the wreck of the 'Costa Concordia'

The boss of the business that operated the Costa Concordia, the cruise liner that sank off Italy in 2012 killing 32 people, was given a payoff of €1.3m even though he was retiring anyway.

News of the payoff for the Costa Crociere chairman Pier Luigi Foschi is bound to anger victims and relatives of those killed in the disaster, many of whom are still fighting for compensation.

It was Mr Foschi who was the public face of the company after the January 2012 tragedy, instantly blaming the captain of the ship, Francesco Schettino, for steering off the correct course. Mr Schettino's trial is still ongoing and he claims the ship's charts were inaccurate.

A little-noticed filing from the parent company, Carnival, said Mr Foschi was being paid €1m (£830,000) for his "waiver of claims" over the company and €250,000 as compensation for signing an agreement not to join a competitor for a certain period of time.

Mr Foschi, who also acted as chairman and chief executive of Carnival Asia, was paid $3.97m (£2.42m) in 2012, the last year for which accounts have been filed. He has shares in the company worth $4.7m, according to Bloomberg data.

The company said his payoff was merely part of the settlement negotiated with 66-year-old Mr Foschi as part of his retirement package.

Mitchell Proner, a lawyer acting for more than 100 friends and relatives of Concordia victims seeking compensation, said: "There's a phrase in Italian, 'The fish rots from the head down.' It is apropos that he is getting out of there with all that money. But we will not go away. We have clients all over the world dealing with horrible post-traumatic stress and physical injuries, people who lost relatives. But both Carnival and Costa have continually frustrated our efforts to come to any reasonable settlement."

The company has reportedly offered compensation of €11,000 to victims to pay for all damages including the value of the cruise. Last year it was reported that around a third had accepted the offer. It has paid more in certain cases. But many victims have said that is inadequate.

Despite the likely anger of those seeking compensation, Mr Foschi was highly praised yesterday within the company's upper echelons. Carnival's billionaire chairman, Micky Arison, who was criticised by some investors for leaving all the public statements on the Concordia sinking to Mr Foschi, said in an internal memo: "Pier contributed greatly to the success of our company over the years. He's a lifetime friend to all of us at Carnival, and his efforts helped transform our company."

Mr Foschi's long-term colleague and chief operating officer Howard Frank said he "led us to new heights around the world, while also helping us work through some of our most challenging times".

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in