Executives’ pay more than double the rate of inflation

Australian executives scored pay rises amounting to more than double the rate of inflation over the past year, well outstripping wage increases for general workers.

Base salaries of managing directors at ASX-listed companies increased on average by 14 per cent over the past 12 months, while chief executives’ pay packets increased by 15 per cent.

Managing directors at ASX 200 companies, the 200 largest listed companies in Australia, jumped by 19 per cent.

Meanwhile, wages for general workers rose by 3.7 per cent from March 2022-23.

Inflation increased 6.8 per cent in the twelve months to April 2023, significantly above the Reserve Bank’s target of 2-3 per cent.

The Governance Institute’s remuneration report was created by McGuirk Management Consultants who drew on publicly available data and surveyed 1167 boards in public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

It showed 71 per cent of ASX 200 senior executives and 42 per cent of board members received a pay rise in the past twelve months.

The Institute’s chief executive Megan Motto said the report showed rising cost of living and the tight labour market was playing out at executive levels.

She warned boards should have a “strong narrative” around renumeration that could stand up to shareholder scrutiny and manage reputational risks at upcoming annual general meetings.

Company secretaries recorded an average wage increase of 11 per cent but that rose to 13 per cent for people working at ASX 200 companies and 24 per cent for those at large listed companies.

Risk managers were also in hot demand with a salary bump of 15 per cent, while the results showed those at ASX-listed companies received 45 per cent of their fixed salary in bonuses.

From July 1 workers on the minimum wage will receive a wage increase of 5.75 per cent.


Rachael Ward
(Australian Associated Press)


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