Payday Perks

Not-So-Great Expectations

Not so good a job? These CEOs earned only about half of their potential salary in 2014.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    If top managers live up to their many goals, compensation can be staggering, including perks that no one else can get.

  • Facts


    • Of blue-chip DAX company bosses, only Martin Winterkorn, the head of Volkswagen, reached near his maximum possible pay of €15.2 million.
    • Many companies offer lucrative fringe benefits, including paying personal taxes, according to annual reports.
    • Some DAX companies are also changing the way they pay supervisory board members, switching from profit-sharing models to fixed compensation.
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The top 30 listed blue-chip companies in Germany earned €68 billion, or $74 billion, in profits last year, just under record levels set in 2007, the year before the financial crisis hit.

But there seems to be no sign of an upper limit on executive pay in Germany, going by performance bonuses paid to CEOs. Most could earn a great deal more if only they had reached 100 percent of their targets.

Average compensation increased by 4 percent in 2014, according to an analysis of company annual reports conducted for Handelsblatt by the German pay consultant Heinz Evers. The pay ranges from €2.2 million for Norbert Steiner of K&S to €15.2 million for carmaker Volkswagen’s Martin Winterkorn.

Aside from Mr. Winterkorn, seven other chief executives are in line for compensation of €10 million or more this year.

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