The salary of FTSE 100 chief executives surged by 16 per cent in 2022, according to new figures out today.
The figures, collated by think tank the High Pay Centre (HPC), revealed the median pay for the bosses of the UK’s top 100 firms reached £3.91m in 2022, a £500,000 jump from £3.41m in 2021 – the highest median pay since 2017.
Astrazeneca boss Pascal Soriot received the highest salary last year, raking in a total of £15.32m.
He was followed by BAE Systems’ Charles Woodburn and Albert Manifold, head of building material company CRH, who took home £10.69m and £10.38m respectively.
The only female FTSE 100 boss to make the top ten highest paid bracket was Emma Walmsley, chief executive of pharmaceutical giant GSK, receiving £8.45m.
The median salary of the FTSE 100 bosses was 118 times the median pay check received by a UK full-time worker, up from 108 times in 2021, and a notable leap from 79 times in 2020.
During a cost of living crisis, “it is surely not desirable or sensible for companies including some of Britain’s biggest employers to prioritise a half a million pound pay rise for executives who are already multi millionaires,” said HPC director, Luke Hildyard.
Trade Union GMB said the figures showed that bosses are “trousering fortunes while workers struggle”.
But the new pay data also comes amid an ongoing debate in the City about whether the country’s corporate chiefs are paid enough to ensure that they attract the best talent.
In May, the chief of the London Stock Exchange Julia Hoggett penned an article which said London-listed firms need to pay bosses more to attract the best talent, claiming the UK is behind global benchmarks.
Hoggett believes a level playing field is required to compete with the US, where the average chief executive salary was $15m (£11.7m) for a Fortune 500 firm versus the UK’s comparatively meagre £3.4m average for a FTSE 100 boss. The LSE declined to comment on the latest pay figures.
The Treasury was approached for comment.