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Top 10 CEOs with the Highest Earnings in Australia



Top 10 CEOs with the Highest Earnings in Australia

The Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) reports that the average salary of an Australian worker is 55 times lower than that of the chief executives of the country’s largest companies. The average pre-tax income of a full-time worker is $92,029.60 per year; in contrast, CEO pay at the 100 largest listed firms in 2022 was $5.2 million, according to a 2023 report by the Governance Adviser. But when it comes to the richest CEOs in Australia, the top 20 are unmatched, with a healthcare entrepreneur at the top of the list.

RankCEOCompanyRealised Pay1yr TSR5yr TSR (pa)
1Mick FarrellResMed$47,138,147-5.9%26%
2Greg GoodmanGoodman Group$44,337,989-14.5%20.3%
3Robert ThomsonNews Corporation$35,153,533-29.7%5.2%
4Alex DorschChalice Mining$17,875,356-49.1%90.7%
5Shemara WikramanayakeMacquarie Group$17,565,61537.8%22.6%
6Paul PerreaultCSL$17,376,176-4.6%15.6%
7Mike HenryBHP Group$16,313,6416.8%23.3%
8Ron DeliaAmcor$14,233,51224%6.8%
9Chris EllisonMineral Resources$12,685,728-7.3%40%
10Jason Huljich & John McBainCenturia Capital$10,730,981-31.9%13.8%

The CEO of ResMed, Mick Farrell, is the highest-paid CEO in Australia for this year, according to the most recent data from the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) CEO Pay in ASX200 Companies report. Mick Farrell, the Australian CEO of a medical equipment company based in San Diego, California, received an incredible $47,138,147 in compensation in FY22 from equity vesting and options. Following in the footsteps of Afterpay founders Anthony Eisen and Nick Molnar, Goodman Group CEO Greg Goodman came in second. Goodman reportedly achieved the highest realized pay outcome of any domestic CEO, coming in at $44.34 million—the highest since the days of Buy Now-Pay Later legends. In FY21, Eisen and Molnar made their record-breaking $264.2 million.

Locally, Brad Banducci’s pay skyrocketed; according to reports, the Woolworths CEO made about $10.6 million in FY22. Nevertheless, he won’t likely remain on the list. The longtime CEO of Woolworths Group announced his resignation after a “trainwreck” interview on ABC’s Four Corners program, during which he stormed out after being grilled over allegations of price gouging. He will certainly be extremely well-paid, but his earnings will go into the private sector and he will no longer be listed in the ACSI’s CEO Pay in ASX200 Companies report going forward. What other companies made the list and what is the true salary of Australia’s highest-paid CEOs?

Highest Earning CEOs in Australia

Now that Afterpay has emerged as 2024’s top performer, it’s important to examine how the other major players in the industries of business, finance, mining, and travel performed this year. The ACSI has released a list of Australia’s highest-paid CEOs for 2024.

  1. Mick Farrell, ResMed (AUD$47,138,147)

Business: ResMed
Industry: Medical
Earnings: $47,138,147
Birthdate: 1975
Birthplace: San Diego, USA

This year, Mick Farrell, the CEO of the medical equipment company ResMed, based in California, is the highest-paid CEO in Australia. It offers medical devices that can be connected to the cloud and used to treat respiratory disorders like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and sleep apnea. It’s no secret that the pandemic increased demand for this equipment, which may be the reason Farrell has made such a sizable profit. This was the first year that Farrell had not received the “highest level of realised pay in the ‘foreigner’ sample,” according to ACSI, and it was evident that a US domicile or influence was linked to high levels of pay. Greg Goodman of the Goodman Group was awarded that honor, but we doubt Farrell is too worried about losing the title.

  1. Greg Goodman, Goodman Group (AUD$44,337,989)

Business: Goodman Group
Industry: Property
Earnings: $44,337,989
Birthdate: 1966
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

Greg Goodman, the CEO of the appropriately named Goodman Group, a global industrial property group that owns, develops, and manages industrial real estate in 14 countries worldwide, has another impressive Australian CEO salary. Goodman, a well-known figure in the real estate industry, is doing better than ever. This year, he earned an incredible AUD $44.3 million, the highest pay outcome for a domestic CEO, after realizing $37.11 million in FY21. Surprisingly, Goodman’s compensation for FY22 fell short of the records set in FY21 by co-CEOs of Afterpay, Anthony Eisen & Nick Molnar, who realized $264.2 million, as well as the $58.91 million earned by the late chief executive Paul Perreault of CSL.

  1. Robert Thomson, News Corporation (AUD$35,153,533)

Business: News Corporation
Industry: Media
Earnings: $35,153,533
Birthdate: 1961
Birthplace: New York, USA

It’s almost a given that the CEO of a major media company will appear on the list of Australian CEOs with the highest salaries, much like death and taxes. That man is Robert Thomson, the CEO of NewsCorp. Murdoch’s man, an accomplished Australian journalist who became a multimillionaire, has made sure that the multinational conglomerate continues to be the most active media and publishing business in the world. Oh, and while at it, he slyly made AUD$35.1 million. ACSI was able to obtain a News Corporation 2022 proxy statement, which shows that Thomson realized $35.15 million, which included a USD$8.13 million cash bonus as well as USD$3.5 million in salary and benefits.

  1. Alex Dorsch, Chalice Mining (AUD$17,875,356)

Business: Chalice Mining
Industry: Mining
Earnings: $17,875,356
Birthdate: 1987
Birthplace: Perth, Australia

Alex Dorsch, a mining magnate and one of Australia’s highest-paid CEOs for 2024, made his fortune in a very traditional industry, which is uncommon among the young, self-made businesspeople who are also on the list. According to the ACSI report, Dorsch made $17.88 million in FY22, which placed him just ahead of Shemara Wikramanayake, CEO of Macquarie Group, who made $17.57 million. The businessman has had a fantastic few years, which included exercising 4.4 million options in March 2021 at an average exercise price of $0.17 when the share price was $4.40, a move that brought in millions of dollars.

  1. Shemara Wikramanayake, Macquarie Group (AUD$17,565,615)

Business: Macquarie Group
Industry: Banking
Earnings: $17,565,615
Birthdate: 1962
Location: Sydney, Australia

At last, one woman appears on the list. Shemara Wikramanayake, an Australian businesswoman who has worked as a banker and lawyer, is the highest-earning female CEO. She is a migrant woman whose success can be attributed to her positive outlook and engaging leadership style. She joined Macquarie Group Ltd. in 2018 as managing director and CEO. Based on the available data, the CEO of Macquarie Group was the highest-paid CEO in FY21 based on reported pay, or pay determined by Australia’s disclosure rule, and she has kept up her impressive earnings. With an astounding $17,565,615 in revenue in FY22, she secured the fifth position on the list.

  1. Paul Perreault, CSL (AUD$17,376,176)

Business: CSL
Industry: Biotechnology
Earnings: $17,376,176
Birthdate: 1959
Birthplace: Utah, USA

Paul Perreault, the late CEO of the Australian specialty biotechnology company CSL, came in sixth. The federal government’s award of CSL a contract to manufacture the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine in Australia at an undisclosed (which is code for monstrous) price has been the biggest factor in his personal wealth growth in recent years. The CSL CEO hasn’t realized pay above $30 million in a long time as of this year. Perreault last claimed this in FY21, when he exercised his remaining legacy options at exercise prices of $107.25 when the share price was $292.

  1. Mike Henry, BHP Group (AUD$16,313,641)

Business: BHP Group
Industry: Mining
Earnings: $16,313,641
Birthdate: 1966
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia

Mike Henry, a businessman of Canadian descent who joined BHP as CEO in 2020, has a 30-year track record in the global resources industry, which is likely responsible for his high-income level. Having joined BHP in 2003, he has held leadership positions in operational, commercial, and technical domains, demonstrating his exceptional leadership abilities. Additionally, he has been a wise stakeholder.

The long-term incentive (LTI) grant given to BHP’s Henry in FY17, before he became CEO, had a face value of $5 million, as the report details. It was valued at $9.18 million when it fully vested in August 2021 (not counting the $1.63 million in dividend equivalent payments that were received at that time). Henry reportedly made a cool $16,313,641 in FY22, which placed him seventh on the list of Australian CEOs with the highest incomes. He was one of only four CEOs with cash compensation exceeding $4 million, the others being Colin Goldschmidt of Sonic Healthcare, Wikramanayake, and Perreault.

  1. Ron Delia, Amcor (AUD$14,233,512)

Business: Amcor
Industry: Packaging
Earnings: $14,233,512
Birthdate: 1972
Birthplace: Zurich, Switzerland

Ron Delia began his career at Amcor in 2005 and rose through the ranks to become CEO in 2015. This year, he is the eighth highest-paid CEO in Australia. Delia leads a North American company, but he is still eligible because of his current position leading Amcor’s Australian operations, where he reportedly made over $10 million in pay in FY22 with $14.23 million which included US$4.4 million in salary, benefits, and bonuses. At the age of 43, he assumed the position and is a prime example of a young entrepreneur leaving their mark on a company that has been around for more than a century.

  1. Chris Ellison, Mineral Resources (AUD$12,685,728)

Business: Mineral Resources
Industry: Mining
Earnings: $12,685,728
Birthdate: 1957
Birthplace: Perth, Australia

Extended When shares of his Mineral Resources company reached a record high in 2020, West Australian mining entrepreneur Chris Ellison became a member of the country’s billionaire’s club. In addition, he was a founding shareholder in Mineral Resources’ first three subsidiary companies. The mining tycoon earned an astounding $12,685,728 in FY22 thanks to an exceptionally profitable year for the industry.

  1. Jason Huljich & John McBain, Centuria Capital (AUD$10,730,981)

Business: Centuria Capital
Industry: Finance
Earnings: $10,730,981
Location: Sydney, Australia

John McBain and Jason Huljich, who co-founded Centuria Capital more than 25 years ago, have progressively risen to the top of the US earnings charts. Overseeing assets valued at over $20 billion, the SX-listed specialist investment company appeared well-positioned to remain on this list for some time. With McBain, the group’s CEO for 21 years, already working to elevate the younger Huljich to the box seat solo when the time comes, the joint CEOs have a built-in succession plan.

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