The average total compensation for Canada’s 100 best-paid CEOs hit a historic high of $9.5 million in 2015, according to the results of an annual report on executive compensation.
That is 193 times the average worker’s salary in Canada, according to the report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
In fact, by 11:47 a.m. on Jan. 3, the first working day of 2017, CEOs in the top 100 will have earned what the average Canadian earns in a year — $49,510.
“Although public outrage over exorbitantly high CEO pay continues unabated, especially since the Great Recession of 2008-09, CEO pay in Canada takes a licking but keeps on ticking,” according to the report’s author, economist Hugh Mackenzie.
“And there seems to be no end to the great heights to which executive pay will soar.”
Mackenzie named Michael Pearson, the former CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, as the top paid CEO in 2015, earning $182,902,189.
It was reported last fall that Pearson and the company’s former CFO, Howard Schiller, were being investigated for by U.S. prosecutors for potential fraud involving the relationship between Valeant and a specialty pharmacy. Pearson stepped down from his role in the spring.
While Pearson’s income was nearly seven times as much as the CEO in second place, it did not abnormally skew the numbers because there are always one or two CEOs each year whose earnings are off the charts, Mackenzie said.