BBC World Service

Australian boss shares fortune from company sale

Duncan Kennedy Feb 2, 2012

Adriene Hill: And now to Australia, where a bus company owner sold his company. But instead of pocketing the money, he decided to share it with his employees.

The BBC’s Duncan Kennedy reports from Sydney.

Duncan Kennedy: They’re already calling him Australia’s best boss. Ken Grenda has just sold his bus company and decided to spread his good fortune: his 1,800 staff are each getting a share of $15 million — an average of $8,000 each.

Ken says he’s dismayed how much some executives are earning and wanted to reward his loyal staff.

Ken Grenda: Bus drivers, as these guys will testify, aren’t the highest paid people in town, but they’re totally dedicated, they’ve worked very hard.

Some employees wept when they heard the news, others phoned their banks thinking the extra money in their account must be a mistake.

Employee Shane Baker says his daughters’ big day can now go ahead.

Shane Baker: Me and my wife, we were struggling to find out, to work out how we were going to pay for my daughter’s wedding, and now I don’t have to work seven days, I’ve only got to work six days a week.

Ken Grenda has been in his family bus business for 66 years. He says the giveaway has been liberating.

In Sydney, I’m the BBC’s Duncan Kennedy for Marketplace.

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