Chief executives’ earnings hit record highs

The average total earnings of FTSE 100 chief executives have doubled over the last five years to a new record of £3.2m.

The FTSE mid-250 chief executives’ average total earnings have also risen by more than 90% since 2001/02 to £1.4m, according to Incomes Data Services’ (IDS) Directors’ pay report 2007 published today,

The report’s findings also show that FTSE 350 directors’ salary increases outpaced those received by shopfloor employees. Over the last year, the salaries of top directors went up by an average of 9.3%, while wage settlements across the economy as a whole ran at 3.5% over a similar period.

Steve Tatton, editor of the IDS Executive Compensation Review and one of the report’s authors, said: “It is no surprise that the earnings of top directors continue to escalate given what has been happening to incentive scheme design. The potential maximum awards from all types of incentive scheme, bonus, share option and other long-term incentives have all been edging up and the rewards are being received today. What passed for maximum performance five years ago now passes for on-target levels of achievement.”