• Sweden edition
 

Swedish CEOs make peanuts in Euro study

Published: 15 Dec 2009 16:36 GMT+01:00
Updated: 15 Dec 2009 16:36 GMT+01:00

The review, carried out by Swedish corporate communications consultancy Hallvarsson & Halvarsson (H&H), also shows that the variable compensation paid to Swedish company chiefs is much lower than that paid to CEOs in other countries.

The heads of Sweden’s 23 largest listed companies, excluding investment firms, earn an average of 13.5 million kronor ($1.87 million) in salary each year, not counting pension contributions.

The figures comes in somewhat lower than the 16.8 million kronor average salary earned by CEOs in the Nordic region, and well below the 36.6 million kronor paid to the heads of other companies throughout Europe.

Adjusted for the fact that Swedish CEOs lead smaller companies than many of their European counterparts, the H&H study reveals that Sweden’s top managers earn about 43 percent as much as their colleagues in Europe.

“That doesn’t surprise me in the least. That’s just about how things look,” Christer Ågren, deputy head of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise (Svenskt Näringsliv) told the TT news agency.

According to him, the appropriate pay level for a CEO is something that must be decided by each company’s board of directors.

“Companies shouldn’t pay more than they need to attract quality people to the job,” he added.

Carina Lundberg Markow, head of corporate governance with the Folksam insurance company, goes a step further in her analysis.

“If you want to have a career abroad, all you have to do is move to another country,” she told TT.

At the same time, she thinks it’s hard to compare between countries based on salary listings without taking other considerations such as price levels, the pension system, and social benefits into account.

“The entire cost situation needs to be included,” she said.

According to Ågren, one consequence of Sweden’s low CEO salaries could be difficulties recruiting foreign management talent.

But Lundberg Markow disagrees.

“If you want to have a specific competence, you simply have to pay for it,” she said.

Lena Westerlund, chief economist with Sweden’s main trade union organization, LO, thinks it more important to compare CEO salaries with what other workers earn in a country.

She’s also concerned about the increasing earnings disparities around the world.

In her eyes, the international success of Swedish companies is evidence that CEO salaries are high enough.

“I can’t see how the salary levels in Sweden can be a problem given the needs we have,” she said.

The H&H study, which was carried out ahead of a workshop on CEO salaries scheduled for next year, also shows that the heads of Sweden’s largest companies have a substantially lower percentage of variable compensation in their total earnings package compared to their European counterparts.

About one third of Swedish CEOs’ compensation consists of variable compensation, compared to about half for other Nordic countries, while variable compensation accounts for about 73 percent of annual earnings by CEOs in other European countries.

According to the survey, Ericsson’s Carl-Henric Svanberg is Sweden’s highest earning CEO, pulling in 24 million kronor last year, excluding pension contributions.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

05:29 December 16, 2009 by randyt
In this article; "According to the survey, Ericsson's Carl-Henric Svanberg is Sweden's highest earning CEO, pulling in 24 million kronor last year, excluding pension contributions."

And then the headline from a few days ago; "Ericsson to Lay Off Nearly 1,000 Employees."

"Carl-Henric, your doing one heck of a job!" - words W Bush would say if he had stock in Ericsson.
08:43 December 16, 2009 by miau
I wonder if the same is true for an ordinary worker's salary in Sweden vis-a-vis Europe? I nearly took a job in Germany where the pay was €400 a month more (after tax). But after deducting the higher cost of housing, child care and transport, I still came out ahead in Sweden with a lower salary.
15:58 December 16, 2009 by glamshek
After all why does Mr Svanberg get paid so hugely? Ericsson to cut 450 jobs in Lund.... Close one plant in Stockholm..... Shut another .... The more these people get paid, the more the bring it down. And its strange . Its almost everywhere. The more one is clever, the more it is damaging for the whole economy in larger spectre.
12:12 December 18, 2009 by krigeren
CEO's are paid according to comparisons from those in their industry. Svanberg does not make much money compared to others in his industry.

Cost cutting measures, reduction in force, "rightsizing" measures are all part of management's toolbox. Cutting a workforce can lead to growth over time and the argument of ridiculing his salary in light of letting workers go is not a germane argument.

Many companies are doing poorly now due to industry wide issues. Some CEO's are receiving bonuses for keeping the losses to a minimum let alone turning a profit....its a reflection of the economy.

On a positive note. Once people get into the income range by the top few percent of the population pricing here is Sweden from a European perspective is quite cheap. One can buy their dream farm with many hectares of land for a very reasonable price compared to other countries. From a Scandinavian perspective if you are a car buff the taxes on vehicles are minimal.

The trick to living in Sweden is to generate your income from outside of Sweden and/or owning companies here and then it turns out all right.

The rank and file always complain about the wealthy when they should be focusing on getting ahead themselves. Sweden is rife with opportunities...
15:26 December 18, 2009 by rumcajs
That is good!

Why? Not because I don't like CEO's, but because in those other countries where the CEO's get more money, the "not CEO's" don't get enough to live as cool as in Sweden. And what happens then? If I have a pub, it's way better for me to have 10 "not CEO's" with a comfortable salary who will buy 3 beers each (10x3=30) and one quite rich CEO who'll buy 5 (30+5=35) than 5 "poor f**d up with mortgage not-CEO's who will buy 1 beer each (5 beers) and only one filthy rich CEO who won't be able to drink more than 10 beers even if he can buy 50 (5+10=15).

Not socialism or liberalism or any "ism", no politics.... just numbers.
06:29 December 20, 2009 by krigeren
@rumcajs

I see you point however, in Sweden due to the taxes on alcohol those 10 non-CEO's will be drinking their first 4 to 6 of those 10 beers in a grocery store and drink them at home or make their own booze in a still in their backyard.

Go to England, America, or Canada.........I don't see a shortage of pubs or non CEO's drinking it up.
Today's headlines
VIDEO: All Saints' Day
Halloween 'boosts' All Saints celebrations
Photo: Cecilia Larsson/imagebank.sweden.se

Halloween 'boosts' All Saints celebrations

The advance of Halloween as a popular holiday in Sweden has increased the popularity of All Saints' Day, contrary to fears when the US-inspired celebration first emerged in Sweden. READ  

Politics
Sweden slammed for racism report omissions

Sweden slammed for racism report omissions

The Swedish government has been criticized by a slew of organisations for omitting a series of notorious cases of discrimination and a general lack of self-criticism in its report to the UN Human Rights Council. READ  

Sport
Sweden's star striker Zlatan 'recovering well'
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is Sweden's top scorer in history. PHOTO: TT/Maja Suslin

Sweden's star striker Zlatan 'recovering well'

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is recovering well from the nagging heel problem that has stopped him playing for Sweden during its Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. READ  

International
Swedish sisters create viral Syria stir
A shot from the video on YouTube.

Swedish sisters create viral Syria stir

Two sisters from Södertälje near Stockholm are celebrating getting more than 1.3 million hits on YouTube, with a video calling for peace in war-torn Syria. READ  

Pirate Bay
Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison
A 2013 image of Svartholm Warg. Photo: TT

Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison

Swedish "hactivist" Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for hacking crimes. READ  

Royal family
Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback
Princess Madeleine at a previous Nobel banquet. Photo: TT

Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback

Sweden's Princess Madeleine is scheduled to appear at the Nobel Festival in Stockholm in December, after taking time out from her royal duties to focus on looking after her daughter. READ  

Politics
'We knew that Israel would be critical'
Foreign Minister Margot Wallström (left), with Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

'We knew that Israel would be critical'

Sweden's Foreign Minister has told The Local she respects Israel's decision to recall its ambassador after Sweden officially recognized the State of Palestine, and laughed off comments about IKEA furniture made by her Israeli counterpart. READ  

Analysis
'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'
Doctors say we should make the most of the autumn sunshine. Photo: Shutterstock

'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'

Spending time outdoors this autumn will help you survive a cold, dark Swedish winter. Baba Pendse, Head of Psychiatry at Lund University shares his top tips for battling the seasonal blues with The Local. READ  

Sports
Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid
Skiers hit the slopes in Åre, western Sweden. Photo: TT

Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid

Norwegian sports officials have said they want to co-host the winter Olympics with Sweden in 2026. But there has so far been no official response from Sweden. READ  

National
Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court
Photo: TT

Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court

A teenage boy who painted anti-Israel slogans and symbols on the Concert Hall in Gothenburg has been convicted for the damages he caused, but he walked free from racial agitation charges. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween
Sport
Top ten quotes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
People-watching: October 30th
National
Sweden remains fourth best for gender equality
Blog updates

31 October

Editor’s Blog, October 31st (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Welcome to our latest 60-second round-up of the week’s news. First, Sweden made headlines around the..." READ »

 

29 October

Scariest day (Blogweiser) »

"This is what’s frightening me on Halloween. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OFZVCu8J0&list=UUJu5J7jG4uoYSjWbpFsJBuQ Follow my posts on FB. ..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sport
World Cup ski race on 'fake' Stockholm slope
Society
An Arctic tradition: hunting and handicraft
Society
Stockholm taxis offer free therapy sessions
National
The Local meets Health Minister Gabriel Wikström
Gallery
Property of the week: Österåker
Society
Homeless turtles get Stockholm police ride
National
Construction worker has 'Sweden's best beard'
National
Italian musician jazzes up Sweden's Lapland
Gallery
Zlatan's career in pictures
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: October 25th and 26th
Lifestyle
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

934
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN