Top executives at leading companies in the UK witnessed a nearly 16% increase in their pay on average last year, contrasting with most workers grappling with rising living costs. The High Pay Centre disclosed that the median pay for FTSE 100 CEOs was £3.91 million in 2022, up from £3.38 million in 2021.
FTSE 100 CEOs earn 118 times more than average UK worker
The average earnings of a FTSE 100 CEO were 118 times greater than a typical UK worker earning £33,000 annually. Though criticized as extreme, some firms argued that the pay was in line with industry norms.
The study, conducted by the independent High Pay Centre, revealed that the highest-paid CEO was Sir Pascal Soriot of AstraZeneca, earning £15.3 million, with Charles Woodburn of BAE Systems and Emma Walmsley of GlaxoSmithKline also among the top earners.
The significant increase in executive pay was attributed partly to economic recovery post-lockdowns and incentive pay tied to profitability and share prices.
The widening gap between executive pay and workers’ earnings was noted, with the Trade Union Congress condemning the “grotesque extremes” in Britain’s economy.
The Adam Smith Institute suggested a more balanced approach, focusing on broader economic benefits. The High Pay Centre recommended the inclusion of elected workforce representatives in remuneration committees to enhance accountability.
Amidst inflation concerns, with inflation currently at 6.8%, CEO pay hikes have raised questions about equitable compensation distribution.