Exclusive Exclusive: Earnings of DAX Executives Rise Significantly Since 2005, Study Finds

Executive salaries at companies in Germany’s blue-chip DAX index have risen steadily since 2005, according to a new study commissioned by Handelsblatt. Top managers’ pay increased by 55 percent on average between 2005 and 2015, according to Heinz Evers, an expert on salaries and wages. In the same period, wages for employees on typical contracts rose by 27 percent on average at the 30 largest German companies. In 2005, 77 percent of board members of DAX companies earned up to €2.5 million. Now, the proportion has practically reversed as only 23 percent earn less than €2.5 million. The study suggests that laws aiming to rein in manager pay have had little effect. In 2005, the German government called on companies to publish executives’ salaries. The move sought to limit what managers were paid through greater transparency and public pressure. Six executive boards doubled their earnings over the past ten years, including managers at Fresenius Medical Care, Beiersdorf, BMW and Henkel. At nine companies, manager pay increased faster than profits per share over the 10-year period. A Merck & Co manager was able to almost triple their earnings between 2005 and 2015. Top earning managers of DAX companies include Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, who earned €10.9 million in 2015, SAP chief Bill McDermott who earned €9.9 million, and Karl-Ludwig Kley, Merck’s departing chief executive, who earned €9.5 million the same year. Read the full story in Wednesday’s Handelsblatt Global Edition at 12:00 Central European Time. Picture: Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche. Source: DPA