Top earners in state bodies earn more than Obama

THE 10 highest earning bosses at Ireland’s state and semi-state companies each earn more than US president, Barack Obama.

Irish president Mary McAleese whose salary is now €298,000 also earns more than the US president despite taking a €32,000 cut last year.

President Obama’s salary of €274,420 is half that of the chief executive of the Dublin Airport Authority Declan Collier who earns €575,000. Before his salary was cut by 10% he used to earn €638,000.

A survey conducted by Newstalk on Irish chief executive pay also found that three quarters of chief executives of state and semi-state bodies have not taken a pay cut.

According to Newstalk 13 of the 48 chief executives it contacted said they have taken a voluntary pay cut, beyond pay and pension levies over the last year.

That compares to six who have not, five who said it was a confidential matter and 24 who either failed or have yet to respond.

The highest earning chief executive who has not taken a voluntary pay cut is Professor Brendan Drumm of the Health Service Executive (HSE).

The other five who have not taken a cut are Barry O’Leary of the IDA, Mary Cloake of the Arts Council, Jason Whooley of An Bord Iscaigh Mhara, John Henry of the Dublin Transportation Office and Paul O’Toole of Fás.

The survey also found that chief executives continue to earn sizeable bonuses and performance related perks. Gabriel D’Arcy of Bord na Mona got a performance fee of €76,000 on top of his basic pay of €247,000.

Meanwhile, a separate report found basic salaries for executives at top British companies jumped 10% last year despite the worst financial crisis in decades.

Although bonuses were lower, the wages of executives rose at more than double the rate of inflation in 2008, an analysis of boardroom pay by the Guardian newspaper said.

The highest paid boss was Bart Becht, the chief executive of household goods group Reckitt Benckiser, who earned £36.8 million (€41.8m) in pay, bonuses, perks and share incentive schemes.

The second highest was Irishman Aidan Heavey, head of Tullow Oil, who took £28.8m.


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