Sky’s head honcho Dana Strong has pocketed more than $30m (£23.6m) in just two years making her one of the UK’s highest paid executives, despite the broadcaster’s finances taking a nosedive last year.
Sky owner Comcast delivered a pay check of $15.2m to Strong in 2022, even as revenues plummeted 11.5 per cent. In 2021, during her first year leading Sky, the former head of consumer services raked in $16m.
Last October, the US telecoms giant Comcast wrote $8.6bn off Sky’s value, although it still remains the largest paid-for television broadcaster in the UK. Sky News is the UK’s most-watched commercial channel with 23m customers and 30,000 employees.
Sky delisted from the London Stock Exchange in 2018 when it was acquired by New York-listed Comcast for $40bn.
According to data from the High Pay Centre (HPC), mining magnate Sebastien De Montessus took home £16.85m in 2021.
Outside of London’s public market, Denise Coates of Bet365 scored a £260m jackpot, making her the UK’s highest paid boss in 2022.
Mark Freebairn, partner at headhunter Odgers Berndtson, said it is “nuts” that UK-based executives generally “get paid significantly less than people doing an identical job in the US”.
“Most of our pension funds are tied up in equity, and you want the best people running our businesses. And if we’re going to start losing people internationally because we’re not paying them as much, that’s illogical,” he told The Times.
However, Luke Hildyard, director of the HPC, said “S&P 500 CEOs in the US are paid a lot more than FTSE 100 CEOs in the UK but the American companies are a lot bigger.
“If anything the UK companies pay very generously” when compared to the chief executives of similar sized companies in Europe.
HPC is set to release its annual CEO pay report on Tuesday.