Swedish CEOs see sharp rise in earnings

The wages of managing directors in Sweden's top stock exchange listed companies continued to rise sharply last year with many firms posting record profits.

Ericsson’s CEO Carl-Henric Svanberg has however lost his spot at the top of the pile in the wake of a spate of profit warnings in the autumn.

Svanberg’s total salary, including bonuses, amounted to 16.7 million kronor ($2.74 million) in 2007.

Truck maker Scania’s CEO Leif Östling leapfrogged Svanberg, receiving a total of 24.4 million kronor last year.

Astra Zeneca CEO David Brennan also had a good year in terms of wages despite the pharmaceutical giant recording lower profits than the previous year. Brennan earned 24 million kronor, up 10 percent on the 2006.

If however Swedish companies based abroad are included in the mix, ABB’s sacked chief executive Fred Kindle was last year’s biggest earner by quite some distance. Kindle’s wages and bonuses came to a cool 57 million kronor.

A survey of the chief executives of 44 of the largest companies on the Stockholm stock exchange showed an average wage of 11.5 million kronor, which was eight percent higher than the previous year, business magazine Veckans Affärer reports.