Top CEOs earned av­er­age of $8.96M in 2014: study

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Canada’s high­est-paid CEOs saw their com­pen­sa­tion dip two per cent from 2013 to 2014, but they still raked in an av­er­age of $8.96 mil­lion each, ac­cord­ing to a new study.

The think-tank that con­ducted the re­search, the Cana­dian Cen­tre for Pol­icy Al­ter­na­tives, says that’s 184 times more than the av­er­age wage in Canada.

In 2014, the av­er­age wage for a full-time worker was $48,636 in 2014, ac­cord­ing to the left-lean­ing re­search group.

Be­tween 2008 and 2013, the coun­try’s 100 top-paid CEOs saw their com­pen­sa­tion climb about 25 per cent to $9.2 mil­lion — roughly twice as fast as the av­er­age wage for Cana­di­ans.

In or­der to cal­cu­late to­tal com­pen­sa­tion, the Cana­dian Cen­tre for Pol­icy Al­ter­na­tives in­cludes salaries, bonuses, share grants and stock op­tions.

Hugh Macken­zie, a re­search as­so­ciate at the cen­tre, says it’s not known whether the slight dip in 2014 is a sign of any sort of last­ing change.

“It’s not clear from the data at this point, be­cause we’ve only seen one year, whether this is in­dica­tive of a slight down­ward trend or whether this is just a blip,” said Macken­zie.

“My gut in­stinct tells me that it’s a blip,” he says, adding that a change in how stock op­tions are be­ing val­ued, given the slide in com­mod­ity prices that be­gan in 2014, may be re­spon­si­ble for the de­cline.

The high­est paid CEO, ac­cord­ing to the study, was Black­berry’s John Chen, who took home $89.7 mil­lion in to­tal com­pen­sa­tion.

Don­ald Walker of Magna In­ter­na­tional Inc. was the next high­est paid, pock­et­ing $23.4 mil­lion. Ger­ald Schwartz of the pri­vate eq­uity com­pany Onex Corp., who was the top paid CEO the pre­vi­ous year, earned to­tal com­pen­sa­tion of $21.1 mil­lion.

CP PHOTO

Ram pickup trucks are on dis­play on the lot at Land­mark Dodge Chrysler Jeep RAM in Morrow, Ga., Tues­day. Fiat Chrysler Canada, one of the big­gest car man­u­fac­tur­ers in the coun­try, says it saw its an­nual sales rise 1.1 per cent in 2015 in what is ex­pected to be a record year for Cana­dian auto sales.

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