ESB Chief Executive Padraig McManus has said he believes the Government will struggle to get someone to replace him for the intended salary cap of €250,000, when the bosses of failed banks are paid €500,000.
Mr McManus, who steps down later this year, earned €750,000 in 2009 and this year his salary will come in at between €450,000 and €500,000.
But a new cap means his replacement's salary will be no more than a €250,000.
Mr McManus said he thinks the Government will find it hard to find a replacement for him, given that bosses of the state-owned banks are being paid more.
"I am retiring from the position so it is not an issue for me," he said.
"They are matters for the Department of Finance to discuss with the chairman of ESB.
"What you do have to remember is that it is a very large company, it managed its business very well, it was not responsible for any collapse… It will be difficult in the future to see a chief executive of the ESB paid less than the chief executives of the state-owned banks."