As the majority of workers’ earnings were being squeezed by rising prices, executives at Britain’s largest corporations saw their compensation jump by nearly 16% on average last year.
According to the High salary Centre, a FTSE 100 chief executive’s median salary increased to £3.91 million in 2022 from £3.38 million in 2021.
It also stated that a FTSE 100 executive typically earned 118 times more than the average UK worker, who earns £33,000 per year.
Although some of the corporations said they were competitive, critics claimed the earnings were excessive.
The head of pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, Sir Pascal Soriot, earned £15.3 million last year, according to the High Pay Centre, a think group that studies CEO pay.
When the British-Swedish firm collaborated with researchers from Oxford University to create a Covid-19 vaccine, it became well-known.
The highest-paid female executive was GlaxoSmithKline’s Emma Walmsley, who earned £8.45 million, while Charles Woodburn of security and aerospace company BAE Systems came in second with £10.7 million.
Ben van Beurden, the former CEO of oil giant Shell, earned £9.7 million, and Bernard Looney of BP earned £10 million. Both companies recorded record profits due to rising energy prices, and they both made the list of the six highest earners.
The think tank reported median pay was more than £500,000 higher than in 2021, continuing its upward trend since it dropped to £2.46m in 2020 during the height of the pandemic. The pay of chief executives of all companies on the UK’s blue chip company index was examine through firms’ annual reports for 2022.
The economic rebound following lockdowns, according to the High Pay Centre, and managers’ “strong incentive pay awards tied to profitability and share prices,” were two contributing factors to the increase.
Earnings are still below where they were in 2017, when they reached £3.97 million, though.
According to the center, the salary gap between firm CEOs and regular employees grew wider in 2017.