Magna exec’s transfer to lesser job really a termination: Court

Former CFO awarded $1.6 million after being misled into thinking a comparable position was coming
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today

A former executive with Magna Entertainment Corp. (MEC) was wrongfully dismissed when he was shifted to a temporary position with a sister company, the Ontario Superior Court of justice has ruled.

Graham J. Orr, 61, joined the Magna Group of Companies in 1987. He moved up through the ranks until joining MEC as the executive vice-president and chief financial officer on Jan. 1, 2001, at the request of Frank Stronach, the chair of Magna. Orr signed an employment agreement specifying either party could terminate it by providing 24 months’ notice. After three years, the notice period would be reduced to 12 months. The agreement also allowed MEC to terminate Orr immediately if it gave him a “retiring allowance” equal to the salary and bonus he received in the two years before the termination. Again, after three years this amount would be reduced to one year’s salary and bonus.

Magna displeased with job performance