Money CEOs now earn 78 times more than Australian workers

15:59  06 december  2017
15:59  06 december  2017 Source:   MSN

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CEOs : They used to be just like us. Well, at least a lot more like us. Thirty years ago, the average chief executive of a large public company earned less than 30- times more than the typical worker .

Alan Joyce, CEO of the Airline Quantas.© Jürgen Heinrich\ullstein bild via Getty Images Alan Joyce, CEO of the Airline Quantas. Australia's top chief executives earn an average of $4.75 million — or 78 times more than the average Australian worker.

The stark finding comes from corporate adviser Conrad Liveris, who has examined the remuneration of executives at Australia's 100 biggest public companies.

But that's not all.

Here's how the gap between total average remuneration for ASX100 chief executives compares to average weekly earnings.

Mr Liveris says Australian corporations' approach to executive remuneration is outdated, as it's based on a model created for corporations in the 1980s and 1990s.

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"It's barely been reviewed for decades even though the business environment has changed.

"In this time of change and innovation, decision makers need to better analyse the contributions being made to their corporation's performance and examine how they can share the benefits more widely."

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In December, for example, the city of Portland, Oregon, passed an ordinance to raise the business tax on companies with CEOs who earn more than 100 times the median pay of their workers .

CEOs from the UK's top 100 listed firms last year earned 183 times more than their companies' average worker , up from 182 times average pay in 2013, according to the High Pay Centre.

Australians' wages are stubbornly stagnant, but it's a quite different story for CEOs.

Over the past couple of years, CEO remuneration has climbed 46 per cent more, year on year, than average Australian incomes.

Mr Liveris believes corporations need to align increases in executive remuneration to Australia's Wage Price Index, in an effort to win back trust in the country's biggest businesses.

You might assume that women who become CEOs have broken through the glass ceiling. But even at this level, there remains a large gap in earnings.

And keep in mind: there are only seven women leading ASX100 companies.

The highest-earning woman CEO is Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz from Mirvac, who took home a total package of $5.3 million.

That compares to Alan Joyce from Qantas, the top-earning man who is earning $24.6 million.

Notably, though, some women executives who hold other positions are out-earning their fellow CEOs. For example:

"The highest paid men in the ASX100 tend to be group chief executives, while women tend to lead business units," Mr Liveris explains.

Alan Joyce from Qantas may have received the highest total remuneration package, but Wesfarmers' Richard Goyder took home the highest salary.

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