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Blog: The average CEO-worker pay ratio is down – so are shareholders winning the debate?

The average CEO-worker pay ratio is down – so are shareholders winning the debate against excessive pay?

Ashley Walsh, head of policy and research at The High Pay Centre, says NO.

Shareholders aren’t just losing the debate against high pay. They’re not even bothering to fight it. Five years after the coalition government gave shareholders a veto over top pay, they’ve meekly waved through every single FTSE 100 pay policy.

One swallow does not a summer make. Top pay fluctuates with stock market trends – it is nothing to do with executive performance.

Meanwhile, in the biggest wage squeeze since the Napoleonic Wars, the average worker earns in one year what the typical FTSE 100 chief exec trousers in two days. Companies lavishing millions on top executives and senior managers leaves peanuts for the rest

Those who accept such grotesque inequality exaggerate the influence of individuals in large, long-established firms. If such influence exists at all, it reflects poor succession planning.

Chief executives are not worth 117 times the average worker. They’re bunged for being in the right place at the right time, while their staff slog away, driving profits, innovation and productivity.

Ashley Walsh is Head of Policy and Research at the High Pay Centre.

This blog post originally appeared in City AM

Posted on 29 August 2019

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