The 100 highest-paid CEOs in Canada have broken records for compensation in 2022, according to Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) senior economist David Macdonald.

The organization’s annual report reveals that CEOs, most of them men, received an average compensation of 14.9 million compared to 14.3 million, on average, in 2021. That’s $7,162 per hour, or 246 times more than the average Canadian worker earns.

This gap widened in 2022, as the average worker saw their salary increase by 3% while that of CEOs increased by an average of 4.4%. Meanwhile, prices rose 6.8% that year, according to the report.

“It’s closely related to what will happen to corporate profits in 2022, similar to what happened in 2021,” economist Macdonald said. “Inflation drives profits, profits drives bonuses, and CEOs reap the rewards. »

The CCPA has been tracking CEO compensation for about fifteen years. At the start of the report, CEOs earned nearly 150 times the average salary compared to 246 times in 2022.

Most CEO compensation is not in the form of salary, but in the form of bonuses, company stock and stock options, David Macdonald said, and some CEOs do not have no salary at all.

In mid-2021, the stock option tax deduction was capped at $200,000, Macdonald said. Perhaps that’s why stock awards have recently become a more important part of CEO compensation, he says.

The report examines the compensation of current and former Canadian CEOs in 2022 as well as that of CEOs, a position that surpasses that of CEO. According to the CCPA report, at the top of the list was Executive Chairman J. Patrick Doyle of Restaurant Brands International. Mr. Doyle, whose company owns Tim Hortons, Burger King and Popeyes, earned $151.8 million in 2022 and his compensation was exclusively in the form of stock and option-based awards.

CEO Matthew Proud of Dye

Magna International CEO Seetarama (Swamy) Kotagiri is a distant third at $36.4 million thanks to a combination of his salary, stock and option-based awards, and executive compensation. ‘an incentive plan without shares.

The list includes executives from various sectors, including finance, technology, energy, telecommunications and healthcare. Only four of the top employees are women.

The report from the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives recommends creating new tax brackets on top incomes, removing corporate deductibility for salaries above 1 million, introducing a wealth tax and increasing the capital gains inclusion rate.

Although executive compensation is supposed to be linked to company performance, the economic slowdown in 2023 does not necessarily mean that CEO compensation will have declined at the same time, David Macdonald noted. Profits were lower in 2023, but companies have historically found other reasons to pay CEOs, he observed.