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New hospital CEO Dominic Giroux could earn $450K in his first year

Incoming HSN board chair jokes Giroux is a 'good negotiator' in discussing CEO's double salary, $12,000 vehicle allowance and 15% bonus for reaching performance targets
As Dominic Giroux takes over as CEO of Health Sciences North, details of his contract with the hospital have been released on HSN's website. (File)

As Dominic Giroux takes over as CEO of Health Sciences North, details of his contract with the hospital have been released on HSN's website.

When his salary with HSN's research institute is included, Giroux will make between $391,000 and $450,000 in the coming year, in addition to a $12,000 annual car allowance.

That's a big raise over what Giroux was paid as president of Laurentian University, his previous job. In 2016, he earned $301,155 as the head of LU.

Floyd Laughren, the chair elect of HSN's board of governors, said Monday that Giroux's salary was determined using guidelines of the province's the Government Employees Compensation Act.

Under the act, the board picked eight hospitals to use as a comparison.

"You pick four that are a little bigger than you are, and four that are a little smaller than you are," Laughren said. "You take the median of those eight, and you can't go above that 50th percentile of salary. So that's how we arrived at that. He's receiving very slightly less than the 50th percentile. Not much, but it's a bit less."

While Giroux's base salary is $314,407 – slightly less than his predecessor, Dr. Denis Roy, Laughren said Giroux can earn much more by meeting certain performance targets. While Roy received a  five per cent increase for hitting the targets, Giroux will receive 15 per cent more.

"What we've done now with Dominic, we want his performance to be much bigger than (Roy's), 15 per cent,” Laughren said. “It's a better governance principle, I think, that puts more reward for meeting the performance goals."

Giroux and the board still have to meet to flesh out what the performance indicators will be, but Laughren expects they will include things like not running a deficit, reducing wait times and ALC patient numbers.

At the end of the year, Giroux will meet with the board to determine how well he met those goals.

For the first year, he can add up to $47,161 to his salary if he hits all the performance targets. His base salary rises to $340,870 in the fifth year of his contract, and his performance bonus can be as high as $51,130.

In addition to his HSN salary, Giroux is also being paid about $78,000 a year to lead the research institute, a figure that could rise to $91,000 if he hits the performance targets. By the end of the five years, the combined salaries and bonuses could put him close to $500,000 a year.

"He's a good negotiator," Laughren joked.

But he said the hospital values what Giroux brings to the institution. Unlike past CEOs, Laughren said Giroux is a known commodity.

"We knew we weren't buying a pig in a poke," he said. "When you get someone from the outside, you're really hoping you've done the right thing. When Dominic agreed to come, we knew we had done the right thing."

Read the full details of Giroux's contract here.