Chief executives of the UK’s 100 biggest companies have seen their pay jump by 39% to an average of £3.4m, according to research by the High Pay Centre thinktank and the Trades Union Congress (TUC).
The median average pay of CEOs of companies in the FTSE 100 index rose to £3.4m in 2021, compared with £2.5m in 2020 during the height of the coronavirus pandemic when many bosses took a voluntary pay cut as they placed millions of employees on furlough.
CEO pay has also surpassed the £3.25m median recorded in 2019, before the pandemic.
Pascal Soriot of AstraZeneca, last year’s highest paid CEO, was overtaken by Sebastien De Montessus of Endeavour, who earned £16.85m. Pascal Soriot earned £13.86m, followed by Albert Manifold of CRH, who earned £11.68m.
The analysis also found that:
- FTSE 100 firms spent nearly three quarters of a billion on executive pay, with £720.21m awarded to 224 executives.
- FTSE 250 CEOs saw a similar 38% pay increase, with median pay rising from £1.25m in 2020 to £1.72m in 2021.
- FTSE 100 CEOs annual bonuses leapt to £1.4m compared to £828k in 2020 and £1.1m in 2019. 90% of CEOs received a bonus.