FTSE 100 CEOs get half a million pound pay rise

High Pay Centre research finds that median FTSE 100 CEO pay increased from £3.38m in 2021 to £3.91m in 2022

Our new report shows that the FTSE 100 CEO pay increased from £3.38m in 2021 to £3.91m in 2022. Median CEO pay is now 118 times that of the median UK full-time worker, compared to 108 times in 2021 and 79 times in 2020.

This is the highest level of median pay since 2017, and is an increase of 16% on the median FTSE 100 CEO pay in 2021, which stood at £3.38 million. 

Pascal Soriot of AstraZeneca was the highest paid CEO, making £16.85m, ahead of Charles Woodburn of BAE Systems who made £10.69 million. 

The ten FTSE 100 companies with the highest CEO pay were as follows:

Company CEO Pay (£m)
AstraZeneca Pascal Soriot 15.32
BAE Systems Charles Woodburn 10.69
CRH plc Albert Manifold 10.38
BP Bernard Looney 10.03
Experian Brian Cassin 9.94
Shell plc Ben van Beurden 9.70
British American Tobacco Jack Bowles 9.62
Anglo American plc Mark Cutifani/ Ducan Wanblad  9.54
Endeavour Mining Sebastien de Montessus 8.99
GSK plc Emma Walmsley  8.45


The analysis also that:

  • FTSE 350 firms spent over a billion on executive pay, with £1.33bn awarded to 570 executives
  • 96% of FTSE 100 companies paid their CEO an annual bonus, up from 87% in 2021. 74% of FTSE 100 companies paid their CEO an LTI, compared to 71% in 2021.
  • The average bonus size fell slightly from £1.43 million to £1.41 million. The average long term incentive plan (LTI) payment increased from £1.50 million to £1.79 million.
  • The median FTSE 100 CEO pay is 118 times the median earnings of a UK full-time worker in 2022 (£33,000), compared to 108:1 in 2021.
  • The median FTSE 250 CEO was paid £1.77 million in 2022, compared to £1.72 million in 2021.

At a time when so many households are struggling with living costs, it is surely not desirable or sensible for companies including some of Britain’s biggest employers to prioritise a half a million pound pay rise for executives who are already multi millionaires.

How major employers distribute the wealth that their workforce creates has a big impact on people’s living standards.

The High Pay Centre is calling for reforms to regulations affecting the corporate pay-setting process including:

  • Requirements for companies to include a minimum of two elected workforce representatives on the remuneration committees that set pay.
  • Guaranteed trade union access to workplaces to tell workers about the benefits of union membership and collective bargaining.
  • Requirements for companies to provide more detailed disclosure of pay for top earners beyond the executives, and low earners including indirectly employed workers, enabling more informed pay negotiations at individual companies and a clearer debate about pay inequality more generally.
  • New bodies should be established for unions and employers to negotiate across sectors, beginning with hospitality and social care.
  • Phasing out long-term incentive payments and replacing them with mechanisms like profit shares, common to all staff ensuring that everyone who contributes towards a company’s success benefits from it.