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

Jan 2 2020, 3:45 pm

It’s hard to believe, but by 10:09 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 $52,061 before lunchtime today.

In their latest report, the CCPA stated that the CEOs made 227 times more than the average worker made in 2018, surpassing all previous records, and up from 197 times average worker pay in 2017. 

“Put another way, by 10:09 am on January 2, the average top CEOs will have made as much money as the average Canadian worker will make all year. That’s the earliest time on record in the 13 years we’ve been tracking these numbers,” said report author and CCPA Senior Economist David Macdonald.

The highest-paid 100 CEOs made, on average, $11.8 million in 2018 (the most recent data available), beating 2016’s record of $10.4 million.

And, perhaps surprisingly, of the top 100 CEOs, only four are women.


The report also found that between 2008 and 2018, top CEOs saw their pay rise by 61%, and by 18% between 2017-18 alone. This compared to the average worker pay, which rose only 2.6% between 2017 and 2018. 

And even when companies lose money, executive pay remains high, according to the report.

“New analysis of broader top executive payrolls beyond the CEO position (the “C-suite”) reveals that in some cases executive payrolls have become so large that they are a major factor in overall company losses,” stated the CCPA.

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

Here’s a look at the 13 top CEO salaries in Canada:

CEO Compensation in Canada/CCPA


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