The CEOs of Britain’s largest corporations saw their pay leap by 16% in 2022, according to research by the High Pay Centre.
The median pay of a FTSE 100 CEO last year hit £3.91m, the highest level since 2017 and £500,000 up on 2021’s figure.
Median CEO pay is now 118 times that of the median UK full-time worker, compared with 108 times in 2021 and 79 times in 2020.
“At a time when so many households are struggling with living costs, an economic model that prioritises a half-a-million-pound pay rise for executives who are already multi-millionaires is surely going wrong somewhere,” said High Pay Centre director Luke Hildyard.
UK basic pay growth has hit a record rate, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shown, but inflation has severely dented the rise in real terms.
According to the High Pay Centre research, four FTSE 100 CEOs earned more than £10m last year, led by AstraZeneca’s CEO Pascal Soriot, who received £15.3m. The other three were Charles Woodburn of BAE Systems (£10.69m), CRH’s Albert Manifold (£10.38m) and Bernard Looney of BP (£10.03m).
The research also found that the median pay for FTSE female CEOs was £3.91m, although there were only eight female FTSE 100 CEOs in 2022, compared with nine in 2021.
Hildyard of the High Pay Centre said the figures strengthened the case for workers to be given “more voice” on company boards, as well as stronger trade union rights. “How major employers distribute the wealth that their workforce creates has a big impact on people’s living standards,” he added.