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Canada’s top CEOs have already made more than average worker will in 2024 – National

Even though 2024 has just begun, Canada’s top 100 highest-paid CEOs have already made more than the average worker.

That’s according to a new report released Tuesday by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), which says that the CEOs’ pay broke “every record in the book” in 2022.

According to CCPA’s data, the top CEOs make $7,162 an hour, which means it takes little over eight hours for them to make $60,607 — the annual pay of the average worker in Canada.

“If we say that both (CEOs and workers) get paid vacations, like New Year’s Day, then by Tuesday, January 2, 2024, at 9:27 a.m. those CEOs will have already gotten what the average worker makes in a year,” CCPA Senior Economist and author of the report David Macdonald said in a statement.

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The report found that the average pay for the top CEOs in 2022 broke an all-time record for the think tank’s data series that began in 2008, with an average pay of $14.9 million. That’s 246 times the average worker’s pay in Canada, up from 241 times in 2021, when the average was $14.3 million.

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In 2008, top CEOs’ pay average was $7.4 million, or less than half what it is now, according to the report.

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Record-high inflation over the last couple of years has only increased CEOs’ pay, the report says. It explains that bonuses, based on performance, are driving CEOs’ pay, but the threshold for bonuses isn’t typically adjusted for inflation, allowing the CEOs to hit their targets more easily given the higher revenue.

“It’s inflation that’s been ultimately driving these bonuses, due to historic profits in the corporate sector,” the report states.

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The report says that the salary portion of the CEOs’ pay has remained fairly constant, sitting at around $1 million per year, and claims that more revenue was converted to profit than in any quarter in the last decade.

“As bonuses keep rising, the million-dollar salary becomes increasingly irrelevant,” the report said.

The top CEOs’ and workers’ average pay went up in 2022, by 4.4 per cent or $623,000 for the former and three per cent, or $1,800 for the latter, according to the report.

CCPA says prices went up 6.8 per cent in 2022, meaning neither the CEOs’ nor workers’ pay raises kept up with inflation.

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Macdonald told Global News that a lot of corporations aim for their CEO to be paid in the top 25-50 per cent of all CEOs, which can have the effect of escalating CEO pay over time.

“(CEOs) think they’re in a hockey draft,” he said. “They’re hockey players and they’re going to hustle the puck.”

He noted that the gap between the average worker’s pay and CEOs’ pay has grown over the years, approaching 250 times, up from 100 times in the 1990s and 50 times in the 1980s.

Sitting at the top of the list is J. Patrick Doyle, the executive chairman of Restaurant Brands International, which owns Tim Hortons, Burger King and Popeyes, among other fast-food chains. He had a total compensation of over $151 million in 2022, far above Matthew Proud, the CEO of software company Dye & Durham Limited, who made nearly $100 million in 2022 and is second on the list.

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Macdonald said Doyle’s salary was so much higher because he was brought out of retirement to fill his role.

Rogers CEO Tony Staffieri is number four on the list with a total compensation of over $31.5 million in 2022, while Shopify CEO Tobias Lutke is number six at over $26 million.

Galen G. Weston, the CEO of George Weston Limited, which controls Loblaw, made the list with a total compensation of nearly $11.8 million in 2022.

Air Canada CEO Michael Rousseau was a little higher on the list than Weston at over $12.3 million.

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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