Joanita Wibowo

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Alan Joyce tops list of highest-paid CEOs in Australia

Alan Joyce tops list of highest-paid CEOs in Australia

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has emerged as Australia’s highest-paid executive for 2018, taking home more than 275 times the full-time average wage.

Joyce topped the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI)’s list of highest-paid ASX100 CEOs for the 2018 financial year with a realised pay of $23.87 million, or a little over 275 times the average Australian full-time salary of $86,736.

In the same financial year, the airline turned in a record $1.6 billion profit.

Joyce was one of the only two CEOs receiving more than $20 million in the year, along with Macquarie Group’s Nicholas Moore.

Across the nation’s 100 largest companies, the average realised pay declined from $6.23 million in the 2017 financial year to $5.66 million in 2018.

Although fixed pay for CEOs have remained largely flat over the decade, the median realised pay for top 100 CEOs has increased by 21 per cent in five years to $4.5 million.

ACSI CEO Louise Davidson said the list showed that corporate Australia had a culture of “entitlement”, where executives received bonuses supposedly reserved for outperformance as a given.

“Bonuses are being treated as fixed remuneration and a defined part of executive pay,” said Davidson. “These results suggest boards aren’t exercising the discretion they should over remuneration.”

Fiona Balzer, policy director of the Australian Shareholders Association, said CEOs should not receive bonuses if they do not exceed targets.

“We want to see CEOs having skin in the game so that after three years they should have one year’s fixed remuneration in shares,” Balzer said. “There is no reason why a CEO should get a bonus, unless they do something to really shoot the lights out.”

The 10 top paid CEOs based on realised pay in the 2018 financial year:

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