An examination of data from the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) by the Dagens Nyhter (DN) newspaper revealed that the highest paid CEO of a publicly-listed company in Sweden in 2012 was Jan Carlson, head of automotive safety system manufacturer Autoliv. He earned 46 million kronor ($7 million) in salary, bonuses, and other compensation.
Carlson's earnings are nearly double what he earned the year before, due primarily to the exercising of certain stock options worth 21 million kronor.
"This is what happens with this type of compensation; it can be unusually high certain years," Autoliv spokesman Thomas Jönsson told DN.
The next highest-paid CEO was Hans-Holger Albrecht, head of media group MTG, who took home 31.7 million kronor, which was 28 million kronor more than the previous year.
Sweden's third highest-paid CEO, Johan Malmquist of medical products giant Getinge, earned 29.6 million in 2012, down by 1.1 million kronor compared to 2011.
Malmquist was the only one of Sweden's ten highest-paid CEOs to see his income drop between 2011 and 2012.
But the earnings of Sweden's highest-paid CEOS nevertheless pale in comparison to the income earned by Ane Maersk McKinney Uggla, heir of Danish shipping giant Maersk, who has long made her home in Stockholm and who earned 60 million kronor in 2012.
Maersk McKinney Uggla has served as vice chair of A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S since 2003 and is considered to be one of the ten richest people in Sweden with an estimated net worth of 32 billion kronor, according to a December 2012 report in Swedish business magazine Veckans Affärar.
Fourteen of the 20 people on DN's list of Sweden's best-compensated CEOs were included in the previous year's list. Making the 2012 list required one to earn 12.7 million kronor, up from 10.6 million the year before.
All but one CEO on the list, SEB head Annika Falkengren, are men. Overall, Sweden's 20 highest-earning CEOs took home 400 million kronor in 2012, 94 million kronor more than the previous year.
Sweden's 20 highest-paid CEOs in 2012
1. Jan Carlson, Autoliv: 46.0 million (+21.5 million)
2. Hans-Holger Albrecht, MTG: 31.7 million (+28.1 million)
3. Johan Malmquist, Getinge: 29.6 million (-1.1 million)
4. Anders Lönner, Meda: 29.4 million (+1.5 million)
5. Leif Östling, Scania (till Sept. 2012): 24.0 million (+12.9 million)
6. Johan Karlström, Skanska: 22.2 million (+5.8 million)
7. Mats Granryd, Tele2: 18.5 million (+8.3 million)
8. Peter Nilsson, Trelleborg: 17.7 million (+4.2 million)
9. Lars Nyberg, TeliaSonera (resigned 2013): 17.5 million (+1.4 million)
10. Jan Johansson, SCA: 17.0 million (no change)
11. Hans Vestberg, Ericsson: 16.1 million (-2.9 million)
12. Tom Johnstone, SKF: 16.0 million (+4.1 million)
13. Tomas Puusepp, Elekta: 15.9 million (+9.3 million)
14. Ronnie Leton, Atlas Copco: 15.0 million (+5.1 million)
15. Alf Göransson, Securitas: 14.4 million (-0.9 million)
16. Annika Falkengren, SEB: 14.2 million (+2.7 million)
17: Arne Frank, Aarhus Karlham: 13.8 million (-1.7 million)
18. Lars Renström, Alfa Laval: 13.1 million (-0.1 million)
19. Karl-Johan Persson, H&M: 12.8 million (-0.3 million)
20. Christian Clausen, Nordea: 12.7 million (-3.6 million)