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These are Australia’s highest-paid CEOs

How much do Australian CEOs get paid? Source: Getty

Shemara Wikramanayake, CEO of Macquarie Bank, has raked in a whopping $18 million in total reported pay, putting her at the top of the Australian Financial Review’s annual CEO pay survey

Wikramanayake was one of four women in the top 50 list, joined by Fortescue Metals CEO Elizabeth Gaines, who ranked 33rd, Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz of Mirvac Group, who ranked 36th, and Alison Watkins of Coca-Cola Amatil, who ranked 49th.

Just five CEOs cracked the $10 million mark, including Gregory Goodman of Goodman, Paul Perreault of CSL, Michael Clarke of Treasury Wine Estate and Andrew Mackenzie of BHP.

Macquarie CEO Wikramanayake topped Qantas Airways’ Alan Joyce, who ranked 18th with a pay packet of $6.5 million. 

Shemara Wikramanayake, Macquarie Bank CEO. Source: Women's Agenda

These rankings are different to the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors’ rankings, which look at the value of shares and bonuses, and put Joyce at the top with $24 million. 

Woolworths’ CEO Brandford Banducci sat 12th on the list with a reported pay of $7.7 million, while Coles CEO Steven Cain sat 24th with a reported pay of $5.3 million. 

The CEOs of the big banks also featured on the list, with ANZ’s Shayne Elliot ranked 27th with $5.1 million, Brian Hartzer ranked 32nd with $5.05 million and Commonwealth Bank’s Matt Comyn, who was promoted from executive to CEO earlier this year, ranked 45th with $4.3 million.

CEO pay slammed

The ACSI report saw only one CEO, Domino’s Don Meij, not receive a bonus for the 2018-19 financial year – a drop from six who did not receive a bonus the year before. 

ACSI CEO Louise Davidson said the way bonuses were being handed out suggested a “culture of entitlement”.

“The way bonuses are being handed out suggests there is a culture of entitlement whereby supposedly ‘at risk’ pay is not very risky at all,” she said.

“These payments occurred in a year when the Royal Commission was in full swing, revealing evidence that executives were not being held accountable for poor conduct, and in the wake of soaring ‘first strike’ votes against remuneration reports.”

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