The average chief executive officer (CEO) in South Africa earns R15,000 every day – but ranging between R4,000 and R65,500 a day, depending on company size or sector.
These are some of the figures derived from PwC’s latest Executive Directors Report for 2019, which provides an in-depth assessment of executive pay in South Africa, and remuneration trends among listed companies.
According to PwC, executive pay, particularly long-term incentives, has become increasingly complex as companies search for a ‘winning formula’ that creates value for the company, shareholders and participants alike.
“Being the CEO of a company is no easy task. It is a high- profile position, especially in a listed environment. One day the CEO could be praised for seemingly possessing extraordinary attributes and abilities, and the next, he or she could fall out of favour with those same admirers,” PwC said.
“Whether this is based on personal relationships (for example, a strained relationship with the Board) or warranted due to continuous disappointing financial results or performance, certain stereotypes have been formed around CEOs in general.”
Even where one chief executive secures a great win and things go awry for another in the same industry, the perception is that irrespective of the outcome of a business decision, both are paid well at the end of the day, PwC noted.
The group noted that we tend to see a similar total reward package structure provided to most CEOs. This generally includes a guaranteed portion, a short-term bonus and a long-term incentive.
The PwC report looked at JSE- and AltX-listed companies, categorising companies into large, mid and small cap groups, and assessing the pay of all top executives – chief executive officers, chief financial officers and executive directors.
The companies were also split across industries to show how remuneration for top executives differs across sectors.
It stands to reason that pay for executives in the country’s top companies are far higher than smaller companies, with PwC noting that the top 10 listed companies on the JSE accounted for 62% of the total market capital invested, totalling R8.7 trillion.
The average salary for a top-10 JSE CEO is R23.9 million, which is actually lower than previous years. However, this is likely because the actual companies in the top 10 have changed since previous years, so the data set is slightly different from last year.
The tables below outline the average salaries for CEOs at small, medium and large cap companies across the sectors assessed by PwC, and how that pay translates to per day (365 days).
The figures represent the Total Guaranteed Package (TGP), which includes all components of remuneration that are guaranteed, including base salary and benefits that typically accrue on a monthly basis (retirement, medical, travel allowance, etc.).
Long and short-term incentives aren’t included. The average short term incentive averages at R13.9 million for large cap companies, R7.422 million for mid-cap companies, and R3.58 million for small cap companies.