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30 May 2022

How CEO pay has returned to pre-pandemic levels

The median FTSE 100 chief executive was paid £3.6m in 2021.

By Nicu Calcea

Chief executives at Britain’s biggest companies are now paid more than before the pandemic, with a median package of £3.6m in 2021, an analysis by the consultancy firm Deloitte has revealed.

CEO pay fell in 2020, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, following voluntary pay cuts and pressure from investors, but rebounded the next year after the revival of annual bonuses.


From 2019 to 2021, the pay of chief executives of companies in the FTSE 100 rose by 9 per cent in nominal terms. The median British worker’s salary increased by 5.3 per cent from 2018-19 to 2020-21, according to the Office for National Statistics. 

While investors have overwhelmingly backed pay rises for CEOs, with just 6 per cent awarding “low votes” to directors’ remuneration reports, the deepening cost-of-living crisis may limit further pay rises for company bosses. Stephen Cahill, a vice-chairman of Deloitte, said: “With rising cost of living and an uncertain geopolitical environment, the year ahead could be more challenging.  

“Investors will rightly hold companies to account where performance does not justify pay-outs or where executives are seen to be insulated from the wider employee experience. Balancing fairness and competitiveness will play a part in the long-term success of London’s capital markets.”

[See also: UK suffers highest fall in employment rate in the G7]

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