Christian Sewing, CEO of Deutsche Bank. Board members of DAX companies earned less on average last year than in previous years. The salary was still many times higher than that of their employees. In an international comparison, however, the salaries of top managers seem almost modest. In the US, board members earn many times the salary of their German colleagues.
The salary gap in the first German stock exchange league has narrowed significantly for the first time in years, but is still huge. Board members of the 40 Dax companies earned on average 38 times as much as an average employee in their company in 2022, according to an evaluation by the German Protection Association for Securities Ownership (DSW) and the Technical University of Munich. In the previous year, the top managers had come up to 52 times.
The management level of the Dax companies felt, among other things, the price falls on the stock exchanges as a result of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. Part of the Management Board’s remuneration is variable and linked to the development of the company’s share price. The leading German index, the Dax, lost 12.3 percent over the year as a whole. “In addition, the sometimes demanding targets for non-share-based components of the remuneration were increasingly not achieved,” explained Friedl.
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On average, a CEO came to 5.1 million euros (2021: 6.1 million) and thus significantly more than a simple board member with an average of 2.9 million euros. The fixed salary as well as short and long-term variable remuneration are included.
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Christian Sewing from Deutsche Bank was the leader with 9.2 million euros, followed by Oliver Blume from VW with 8.8 million euros and Belén Garijo Lopez from Merck with 8.3 million euros.
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In an international comparison, however, the average total remuneration of EUR 5.13 million for executive board members in the DAX is well below the remuneration paid in the French CAC40 (EUR 6.47 million) and the remuneration granted by SMI companies in Switzerland (EUR 7.11 Million Euros). In 2022, the CEOs in the USA (EUR 24.86 million) will again receive significantly higher salaries than the European CEOs.
The CEO of the software developer Dassault Systèmes, listed in the CAC40, Bernard Charlès, received the highest total remuneration in Europe with 32.92 million euros. However, the Frenchman’s salary includes long-term bonus components. Since 2005, he has been allocated 1.5 million performance shares each year, which increase or decrease in value depending on the company’s performance.