AstraZeneca and BAE Systems CEOs have highest FTSE 100 pay

AstraZeneca Bae Systems BPAstraZeneca, BAE Systems and BP have been named as FTSE 100 organisations with the highest chief executive officer (CEO) pay, according to research by the High Pay Centre.

Its latest report found that Pascal Soriot of AstraZeneca was the highest paid CEO, making £16.85 million, ahead of Charles Woodburn of BAE Systems who made £10.69 million and Bernard Looney of BP who received £10.03 million.

In addition, FTSE 100 CEO pay increased from £3.38 million in 2021 to £3.91 million in 2022, and median CEO pay is now 118 times that of the median UK full-time worker, compared to 108 times in 2021 and 79 times in 2020. This is the highest level of median pay since 2017 and is a 16% increase on 2021 median FTSE 100 CEO pay.

FTSE 350 firms spent more than one billion on executive pay, with £1.33 billion awarded to 570 executives and the median FTSE 250 CEO was paid £1.77 million in 2022, compared to £1.72 million in 2021.

A total of 96% of FTSE 100 employers paid their CEO an annual bonus, up from 87% in 2021, and the average CEO bonus fell from £1.43 million to £1.41 million. Three-quarters (74%) of FTSE 100 firms paid their CEO a long-term incentive (LTI), compared to 71% in 2021, and the average LTI plan payment increased from £1.50 million to £1.79 million.

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A High Pay Centre spokesperson said: “The High Pay Centre is calling for reforms to regulations affecting the corporate pay-setting process, including requirements for employers to include a minimum of two elected workforce representatives on the remuneration committees that set pay, guaranteed trade union access to workplaces to tell workers about the benefits of union membership and collective bargaining, and new bodies for unions and employers to negotiate across sectors, beginning with hospitality and social care.

“Other reforms should include requirements for employers to provide more detailed disclosure of pay for top and low earners and indirectly employed workers, more informed pay negotiations and a clearer debate about pay inequality, and phasing out long-term incentive payments and replacing them with mechanisms like profit shares.”