Canada's top CEOs have already earned an average worker's annual salary

Jan 2 2019, 11:51 pm

It’s hard to believe, but by 11:33 am today, the average top-earning CEO in Canada will have already earned — in less than one workday — what the average worker makes in an entire year.

According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the 100 highest paid CEOs in Canada will earn $50,759 before lunchtime today. Generally, they earn that by 11:33 am on January 2.

It turns out, Canada’s corporate executives had an incredible year as their average annual compensation hit $10 million — that’s more than 197 times an average worker’s salary of $50,759, says the report.

Although this is slightly less than the year before, when they made $10.4 million, this year’s average is still the second-highest since the report began.

“Despite what appears to be a tight labour market, markedly higher wages haven’t materialized for the average worker,” says study author CCPA Senior Economist David Macdonald.

“This report serves as a reminder that immense wealth continues to circulate through the economy—it’s just not making its way into the hands of the average worker.”

According to the report, last year’s total was particularly high because six men received extreme “golden parachute retirement bonuses” worth between $9 million and $18 million each.

If those bonuses are removed from the equation, this year becomes the highest-paid year for the richest 100 CEOs.

A major component of these CEO’s total compensation comes from “variable” or “bonus pay,” which accounts for 77%.

“This type of pay encourages short-term thinking to the detriment of long-term investment and economic growth,” reads the report.

In the latest report, the highest earning CEO is Richard Baker, the Governor and Interim CEO Executive Chairman of Hudson’s Bay. In 2017, his total compensation reached a whopping $54,847,131.

Well, that’s encouraging for the first day back at work after the holidays…

Here’s a look at the 15 top CEO salaries in Canada.

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