The CEOs of Australia’s biggest companies earn 55 times more than the average worker

Australia's top-earning CEOs made over $160 million in the 2021/22 financial year, a new report has found. Here's the breakdown
Who are Australia's top-earning CEOs

Australia’s top CEOs are making more than 55 times the typical worker, according to a new report by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors.

However, the report also found that pay for CEOs of these companies was the lowest it’s been in nine years during the 2021/22 financial year.

Who are Australia’s top-earning CEOs?

  1. Mick Farrell (ResMed – medical equipment): $47.1 million
  2. Greg Goodman (Goodman Group – property): $44.3 million 
  3. Robert Thomson (News Corp – media): $35.2 million 
  4. Alex Dorsch (Chalice Mining): $17.9 million 
  5. Shemara Wikramanayake (Macquarie Group – finance): $17.6 million 

*This is based on realised pay, which is the value of cash and equity received by CEOs.

Bonuses for Australia’s top-earning CEOs:

Bonuses – compensation based on key performance indicators – were found to be a key part of the total pay taken home by CEOs.

The median bonus awarded to a CEO of an ASX100 company (the top 100 publicly-listed companies) was $1.72 million. The report said there is an attitude of “everyone wins a prize” when it comes to bonuses.

Qantas boss Alan Joyce was the only ASX100 CEO who did not receive any bonus during the period.

Reported pay:

The findings also included detail on reported pay, which doesn’t include equity agreements.

On this metric, Macquarie Group CEO Shemara Wikramanayake was the highest-paid CEO with $23.72 million.

Wikramanayake is the first woman in Australia to earn the highest reported pay among ASX200 companies for two years in a row.

Become smarter in three minutes

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed, for free.

Be the smart friend in your group chat

Join thousands of young Aussies and get our 5 min daily newsletter on what matters in your world.

It’s easy. It’s trustworthy. It’s free.