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Call for reform as average FTSE 100 CEO pay exceeded £3.91m in 2022

The wages of bosses at some of Britain's largest companies have been raised to 118 times the average wage for a full-time UK worker, up from 108 times the average wage a year earlier.

The average salary of CEOs of FTSE 100 stock index companies rose to £3.91m in 2022, the highest since 2007.

The median wage – the midpoint between the lowest and highest wages – rose from £3.38m in 2021.

CEO salaries in the Financial Times Stock Exchange's Index of 100 Most Valuable Companies increased 16% from 2021-2022, the most recent period with complete information available.

For comparison, official figures showed an employee's average wage, including bonuses, increased by 5.7% in the last three months of 2022 compared to a year earlier.

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Data from FTSE 350 companies showed £1.33 billion was spent paying 570 executives.

The figures were compiled by the think tank High Pay Center. The information comes from disclosures of the total remuneration of the managing directors, which are listed in the companies' annual reports for 2022. For companies not reporting in sterling, the amount has been converted to pounds just before the company's year-end using the exchange rate provided by HMRC.

The think tank research also found that there were eight female FTSE 100 chief executives in 2022, down from nine in 2021.

According to the analysis, Pascal Soriot was the highest-paid CEO at the helm of AstraZeneca, who was paid £15.32m in 2022.

He was followed by:
• Charles Woodburn of arms manufacturer BAE Systems for £10.69m.
• Albert Manifold from building materials company CRH £10.38m.
• Bernard Looney of oil and gas producer BP for £10.03m.
• Brian Cassin of consumer credit reporting and analysis company Experian for £9.94m.

The High Pay Center called for reforms to the rules governing company payrolls.

Companies should be required to have at least two elected workers' representatives on the pay committees that set salaries and should provide more detail on the pay of top earners beyond executives, the think tank says.

Details should also be provided on low earners, including indirectly employed workers, to allow for more informed wage negotiations and a clearer debate on wage inequality, the group added.

“How large employers distribute the wealth their workers create has a big impact on people's living standards,” said Luke Hildyard, director of the High Pay Center.

“We need to give workers more say on company boards, strengthen union rights and allow low and middle earners to get a fairer share compared to those at the top.”

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