MTN CEO’s massive R28 million salary

MTN Group has released its annual report for 2014, revealing how much its top executives got paid in the last financial year.

MTN Group president and CEO Sifiso Dabengwa took home a total sum of R28.1 million in 2014, including a R13.3 million bonus and share gains of R3.5 million.

Dabengwa’s salary for the full year 2014 was down significantly from a R48 million haul in 2013.

Despite a 40% pay cut Dabengwa still commands a salary far higher than any other mobile or tech executive in the country.

In March, disgruntled MTN employees staged a protest demanding performance-linked pay after MTN South Africa said it will not make any additional performance bonus payments to employees for the 2014 financial year.

According to it’s annual report for the 2014 financial year, the minimum financial targets for bonuses were not achieved by MTN South Africa.

As a result, no bonuses were declared, with the exception of the minimum guaranteed 4% payable to lower-level employees.

However, MTN South Africa MD Ahmad Farroukh took home R17.5 million, including a R6.6 million bonus in 2014.

In March, MTN SA reported a 3.9% drop in local revenue for the year ended December 2014, to R38.9 billion, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation slipped to R12.5 billion, from R14 billion before.

Farroukh is the third-highest earner in the tech space, after Altron CEO Robbie Venter’s R17.7 million earned in the same financial year. Craig Venter, who heads up Altron’s Altech subsidiary took home a total of R14.2 million.

Vodacom Group CEO, Shameel Joosub took home a package of R12.98 million for the 2013/14 financial year, while Telkom CEO, Sipho Maseko took home R11.7 million.

Telkom’s executives and prescribed officers took home a combined salary of nearly R60 million for the financial year ended March 2014, despite ongoing mass retrenchments within the group.

The table below shows how the tech and telecom CEO salaries stack up.

CEO Company Salary 2014
Sifiso Dabengwa MTN Group R28.13 million
Robbie Venter Altron R17.73 million
Ahmad Farroukh MTN SA R17.48 million
Craig Venter Altech R14.14 million
Shameel Joosub Vodacom Group R12.98 million
Sipho Maseko Telkom R11.71 million
Brett Levy Blue Label Telecom R6.80 million
Mark Levy Blue Label Telecom R6.80 million
SA Tech salary breakdown
SA Tech salary breakdown

High executive salaries are a contentious point in South Africa, which is listed as having the 5th biggest average pay gap in the world, after the US (1st), Hong Kong (2nd), Germany (3rd) and the UK (4th).

CEOs in JSE-listed companies earn on average 140 times more than the average workers for those companies.

Research shows that seven of the top earning CEOs of JSE-listed companies received total compensation above R60 million in the past financial year – more than 300 times what the average worker (non-agricultural) earned in 2013.

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MTN CEO’s massive R28 million salary