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Executives get paid 11 times more than average employees: report

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : March 24, 2024 - 14:11

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This March 20 photo shows a shareholders' meeting for Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a flagship company of Samsung Group. (Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd) This March 20 photo shows a shareholders' meeting for Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a flagship company of Samsung Group. (Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd)

The average salary of an executive of a major South Korean corporation is almost 11 times that of an average employee working at those companies, a report by an online think-tank monitoring local conglomerates showed Sunday.

Chaebol.com analyzed the salaries of the people working for 162 subsidiaries of 20 major conglomerates in South Korea in the 2023 fiscal year, and found that the executives of those companies get paid an average salary of 1.09 billion won ($810,000) a year, compared to 99.6 million won for non-executive employees at the companies.

The executives in this report refers to the members of the company board, excluding the outside directors and members of the companies' audit committee.

The wage gap among the executives and other employees varied from less than twice for Nonghyup employees -- 202.2 million won compared to 124 million -- to 19.3 times for those working at Sinsegae Group, which paid 1.05 million won to executives compared to the average 54.4 million-won salary for other employees.

Executives working for Samsung Group, South Korea's biggest conglomerate, make 2.21 billion won in salary which is 18.9 times more than the average employee made. The next highest paid executives were at LG Group (1.57 billion won), Hyundai Motor Group (1.48 billion won), Doosan Group (1.19 billion won), HD Hyundai Group (1.16 billion won), and SK Group (1.12 billion won).

Nonghyup paid the lowest salary to its executives but its salary for other employees was the highest on the list. The next highest-paid employees were working at ship-manufacturer HMM at 123.3 million won, SK Group at 117.5 million won, Samsung Group 117.4 million won, and Hyundai Motor Group at 115.3 million won.

The huge gap between the salaries of regular employees and executives at Sinsegae Group derived from it paying the lowest amount to its non-executive employees. It was followed by CJ Group where average pay was 53.3 million won, Lotte Group (63.3 million won), and GS Group (67.6 million won).

On average, the salaries of executives and other employees at the 20 conglomerates dropped by 7.6 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively, compared to the year before.