Pascal Soriot, CEO of COVID-19 vaccine maker AstraZeneca, was the head of Britain’s highest-paid company in 2020, a year in which the average FTSE 100 leader saw his salary drop by nearly a fifth, he showed a report from Thursday.
Soriot, whose handling of the pandemic response has drawn criticism despite the company producing its vaccine at cost, took home 15.45 million pounds ($ 21.25 million), according to a report by the High Pay Center.
That compares with the median CEO salary on Britain’s flagship stock index of 2.69 million pounds, down from 3.25 million pounds in 2019, the report found, but still, 86 times that. Average earnings of the average UK worker.
Shareholders had demanded that bosses share in the financial pain, as companies in a variety of sectors experienced a difficult year, with lockdowns in many countries hurting sales.
The proportion of companies paying bonuses dropped to 64% from 89% in 2019, while 77% paid long-term incentives based on performance in the previous 3-5 years, compared to 82% the previous year, Of the nine companies that took public money through the British government’s licensing scheme, the average salary for CEOs was 2.2 million pounds.
“CEO pay packages are designed to reflect the expertise of shareholders, employees, and other stakeholders, so in a sense, this year’s lower pay levels show the system is working as intended. ”Said Luke Hildyard, director of the High Pay Center.
“On the other hand, these are still very generous rewards … at a time when, overall, government support for the economy has probably been more important to the survival and success of the UK’s largest companies. then the decisions of its executives. ”
However, Rounding out the top five winners were Brian Cassin of Experian, with 10.3 million pounds; Albert Manifold of CRH, with 9.92 million pounds; Laxman Narasimhan of Reckitt Benckiser, at 9.24 million pounds, and Rob Perrins of Berkeley, at 8.03 million pounds, according to the report.