Australia’s top 10 CEOs all made more than $10 million last year – and they’re being called out for their ‘culture of entitlement’ around huge bonuses

Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas Airways. Photo: Torsten Blackwood/AFP/GettyImages
  • The Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) revealed the 10 highest paid CEOs in the ASX200 listed companies, with Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce coming out on top.
  • The 10 CEOs on the list earned more than $10 million dollars, with Joyce earning more than $23 million.
  • The report also looked at the annual bonuses of ASX200 CEOs and found that only one CEO did not receive a bonus.

Australia’s top CE0s are making a mint.

A new report from the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) has revealed the 10 highest paid CEOs in the ASX200 companies, with Qantas boss Alan Joyce taking the crown.

ACSI investigated the ‘realised pay’ – the value of cash and equity received – of ASX200 CEOs during the 2018 financial year and found that 10 of them earned over $10 million dollars.

Topping the list was Joyce, who made $23,876,351, followed by Macquarie Group’s Nicholas Moore at $23,855,580 and Treasury Wine Estates’ Michael Clarke ($19,024,334).

Take a look at the rest of the top ten list here:

10 Highest Paid CEOs, source Australian Council of Superannuation Investors.

The report also looked into the bonuses the CEOs received and found that more than half of ASX100 CEOs received at least 70% of their maximum entitlement. Five ASX100 CEOs received 100% of their maximum bonus.

Only one CEO didn’t receive an annual bonus at all – Domino’s CEO Don Meij. This was a record low, as six CEOs eligible for a bonus in the ASX100 didn’t receive one in the 2017 financial year.

In the foreword of the report, CEO Louise Davidson said investors have been concerned about the emerging “culture of entitlement” around annual bonuses and short term incentives in Australia’s top companies, with this report confirming those fears.

She further highlighted that the financial services Royal Commission did little to dampen the entitlements CEOs received.

“These payments occurred in a year when the Royal Commission was in full swing, revealing evidence that executives were not being held accountable for poor conduct,” Davidson said in a statement.

“Clearly, corporate Australia is not getting the message that bonus payments should be variable and awarded for stretch performance, rather than being fixed pay under another name. This is a failure of both discipline and leadership.”

But in more promising trends, Davidson said there have been several companies lowering remuneration for incoming CEOs and reducing cash pay by deferring incentives into equity.

According to PwC, new Aussie CEOs are being paid around 33% less than those before them.

“Investors want to see a greater focus from boards on assessing whether their existing incentive schemes are truly rewarding executives for exceptional performance, or just a top-up for meeting budget,” Davidson said.