The chief executives of Germany's 30 biggest companies saw their pay rise almost 9% last year to the highest level for five years, even as company profits stagnated, data showed on March 23.
The heads of the 30 companies in Germany's blue-chip DAX stock index earned an average 5.04 million euros (US$6.7 million) in 2011, 8.7% more than in 2010 and the highest level since 2006, the management consultancy firm HKP calculated in a new study.
At the same time, the annual average net profit of the companies they run slipped by 0.4% to 2.03 billion euros.
The lion's share of chief executive pay -- accounting for 3.8 million euros of the average annual salary -- was made up of variable elements such as deferred or staggered bonuses, while the basic fixed salary amounted to 1.26 million euros.
Last year's biggest single earner was Volkswagen chief Martin Winterkorn, who earned a record 16.6 million euros (US$22 million) including bonuses, HKP calculated.
Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Ackermann, who is stepping down at the end of May, was in second place with 9.355 million euros (US $12.3 million.)
At the bottom of the ladder was Thomas Quaas, head of cosmetics group Beiersdorf, who took home 1.42 million euros, ($US 1.9 million) while Commerzbank chief Martin Blessig earned just 500,000 euros (US$622,000) because the bank is currently under state supervision.
On an international scale, VW's Winterkorn is the third-highest paid chief executive behind Robert Iger of Walt Disney with the equivalent of 21.85 million euros (US$28.9 million), and Hewlett-Packard's Leo Apotheker with 18.12 million euros (US$ 24 million.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012