Regulating Executive Salaries and Reducing Pay Disparities: Is pay disclosure the answer?

Journal of Australian Political Economy
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Australian Political Economy, 2018, 81 (Winter), pp. 95 - 120
Issue Date:
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In 2017 it was reported that Ahmed Fahour, CEO of Australia Post – a publicly owned company – earned AUD$10.8 million in a single year. In 2015, he was paid 119 times the annual salary of the average Australia Post employee ($47,000 per annum). Fahour presided over the organisation's greatest decline in company turnover, accompanied by large-scale retrenchments of low-paid workers (Evershed, 2017). Yet as extravagant as Fahour’s pay appears, it is far from the largest executive remuneration packages paid to CEOs in Australia. In recent years, some have surpassed $30 million per annum. In the United States (US), CEO pay can be 300 times that of the average wage within the company (Mishel and Davis, 2015). Even after a slight ‘correction’ in CEO pay, which dipped in Australia during the Global Financial Crisis from an average of $5.5 million per annum to $4.7 million, David Richardson of The Australia Institute has recently found that CEO pay is on the rise again, averaging $5.2 million last financial year (Patty, 2018; Richardson, 2018).
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