For the last fiscal year ended March, Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn of Nissan Motor Co. received a total compensation of 982 million yen or $11.46 million, standing for a 10 percent increase, including salary and stock options. According to Bloomberg data, Ghosn is the highest-paid boss among Japanese firms that have disclosed executive compensation.
Next in rank to him is Chairman Howard Stringer of Sony Corp., receiving around 863 million yen in salary, bonus and stock options, according to Sony’s disclosure on Tuesday.
Ghosn's compensation is lower than the $15.3 million average among international automotive companies as estimated by U.S.-based benefits consultant Towers Watson & Co.
Among the vehicle manufacturers, Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford Motor Co., earned the most with around $26.5 million in 2010. Japanese companies, which are publicly traded, are required by financial regulations to disclose compensation for executives who earn at least 100 million yen.
According to analyst Takeshi Miyao from Tokyo-based consulting company Carnorama, the Western companies see the need to give higher incentives to executives than Japanese companies do.
He adds that the Western companies believe that “well-performing management leads” will lead to good earnings results. He also said that the Western companies give adequate pay in order to ensure that its top managers do not transfer to another company.