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How do you compare to Australia’s highest-paid CEOs?

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce

If you earn $4.5 million a year, your income still only equates to the median of ASX 100 company bosses, new analysis reveals in a ranking of Australia’s highest-paid CEOs.

According to the CEO pay in ASX 200 companies report — the 18th such annual compilation by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) — median realised pay among Australia’s biggest 100 companies came in at $4.5 million.

Among the top 200 ASX-listed companies, 10 CEOs took home more than $10 million in the 2018 financial year. The average, however, was a much lower $1.03 million, down by 1.5 per cent on the previous year.

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Yet that average annual income is still more than the total average household wealth of Australians, which the ABS revealed in July this year had risen to $1.02 million.

The CEOs of many of Australia’s largest and best-known companies failed to make the list of the 10 biggest earners, including those of the major banks, Telstra, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. Not a single woman was ranked among the top 10 either.

The report ranked Australia’s highest paid ASX 100 CEOs (in terms of realised pay) as:

  • Alan Joyce (pictured), Qantas Airways: $23,876,351
  • Nicholas Moore, Macquarie Group: $23,855,580
  • Michael Clarke, Treasury Wine Estates: $19,024,334
  • Bob Vassie, St Barbara: $13,246,088
  • Craig Scroggie, NextDC: $12,515,914
  • Sandeep Biswas, Newcrest Mining: $12,083,392
  • Brian Benari, Challenger Group: $11,696,001
  • Raleigh Finlayson, Saracen Mineral Holdings: $11,284,256
  • Andrew Bassat, Seek: $10,744,472
  • Colin Goldschmidt, Sonic Healthcare: $10,017,376

Termination payments also cost shareholders big time, with departing ASX 200 CEOs taking a collective $25.15 million with them — although this was down on the $33.63 million paid out the year prior.

The report criticised the substantial earnings, however, as being part of a “culture of entitlement”, with ACSI’s own CEO, Louise Davidson, stating in her foreword that bonuses are readily paid to executives and what should be at-risk performance-based pay “may not be very risky at all”.

The report said that “only one eligible ASX 100 CEO did not receive an FY18 bonus”, which it claimed was a record low, and down substantially on the six that went bonus-less the year before.

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Last year’s list of highest-paid CEOs was topped by Domino’s Pizza Enterprises’ Don Meij, who took home $36,837,702.

 

 

Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016. 

The two-time Publish Awards finalist has an extensive journalistic career across business, property and finance, including a four-year stint in the UK. Email Adam at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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How do you compare to Australia’s highest-paid CEOs?
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