Energy giant Royal Dutch Shell revealed on Thursday that chief executive Ben Van Beurden’s annual earnings more than doubled for his work last year to over 20.1 million euros ($22.7 million). 
The total – including base salary, annual bonus and a massive hike in long-term incentives – was calculated after the Anglo-Dutch group in January said group net profits surged 80 percent to $23.4 billion in 2018 on higher oil prices and heavy cost-cutting.
Van Beurden’s latest annual earnings are 143 times higher than the amount handed to the average Shell employee in the UK, the company revealed in its annual report.
The disclosure comes as top British companies increasingly come under fire from shareholders and members of the public for the hefty salaries paid to executives.
Shell said in its report that while it is ‘sensitive to the wider societal discussions regarding the level of executive pay’ compared to the average employee salary, the company’s pay ratio ‘is consistent with those seen’ in other leading companies listed in London.
It added however that ‘it is challenging to draw a meaningful comparison given the different markets and industries in which they operate’.