A few days ago, we published a list about the best CEOs in Europe of 2013, where it has been possible to note that, as expected, most of the administrators that made it to those rankings were actually already working in companies based on wealthy and developed countries. Thanks to a report from last week brought to the public’s attention by the Federation of European Employers, we now have access to the average pay-rates for the CEOs from 47 different European countries.
These stats only have into account gross salaries, meaning that any kind of bonuses or special share rights are ignored on this comparison study. On the top of the list came up Italy, with an average hourly pay rate of 953 euros, which would result into an annual salary of roughly 1.86 million euros. Right after the Italians is Spain, with a significant lower hourly pay rate of 788 euros (1.54 million euros per year). Sweden completes the podium with a CEO there earning around 727 euros per hour.
The Chief Executive of FedEE has left a few remarks after these reports were published a few days ago and came up with a good explanation on why we’re seeing Italy and Spain so detached from the rest of the countries on this rankings list.
Robin Chater: “Both Italy and Spain don’t have a prominent culture of handing out heavy rewards in the shape of bonus and shares benefits, as it happens for example in the UK (6th on the rankings), Netherlands, Ireland and so on…”. Another reason brought up by Chater was precisely the enormous tax level that is charged against high-paid executives and administrators in countries like Spain. In both countries, a well paid CEO can actually suffer a big cut after paying his tax responsibilities, with currently the top tax rates going up to 52% (excluding any other additional social security fees).
If we turn the rankings list upside down though, we quickly find out that the worst paid CEOs can be found in Moldova, precisely one of Europe‘s poorest countries. This correlation between the CEOs’ average salaries and the wealth or development level of the country itself goes straight into what one could expect before having access to this report. Just to have a better idea of the discrepancy we have in hands, a Moldovan chief executive officer is paid around 32 euros per hour (62.400 euros per year).