VW's CEO Martin Winterkorn is better paid than Daimler’s CEO Dieter Zetsche

Article by Christian A., on March 25, 2011

Martin Winterkorn, Chief Executive Officer of Volkswagen AG, was paid more in 2010 than Dieter Zetsche, the CEO of Daimler AG. Winterkorn’s compensation had increased by 41 percent as record earnings were posted by Volkswagen, Europe's biggest carmaker. In VW’s annual report, it was shown that Winterkorn earned EUR9.33 million ($12.9 million) in fixed salary, bonuses and profit incentives compared with EUR6.6 million in 2009.

The increase in compensation is due partly to a new long-term incentive plan presented in 2010. Winterkorn is now one of the best-paid executives among companies on Germany's benchmark DAX Index. On the other hand, Zetsche, the CEO of the world's second-biggest maker of luxury cars, earned EUR8.69 million.

In 2009, Josef Ackermann, CEO of Deutsche Bank AG, was paid EUR9.55 million, says Automotive News. Meanwhile, Peter Loescher, CEO of Siemens AG, Europe's biggest engineering company, earned nearly EUR9 million for the year through Sept. 30.

In addition, Deutsche Post AG, the region's largest postal service, revealed that CEO Frank Appel had a total compensation of EUR2.96 million in 2010. It’s no surprise that Winterkorn earned a lot in 2010 as Volkswagen's earnings before interest and taxes nearly quadrupled to a record 7.14 billion.

VW has proposed a 2010 dividend of EUR2.20 per common share and EUR2.26 per preferred share. Last January, Winterkorn's contract was extended by VW's supervisory board by five years until 2016.

Of course, Volkswagen's eight-member management board, CFO Hans Dieter Poetsch and sales chief Christian Klingler, were also paid more. Their compensation nearly doubled to EUR36.7 million from EUR18.7 million. Even Michael Macht, who only joined the board last October, had received EUR1.03 million.

Headquartered in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany, Volkswagen AG is a German multinational auto maker that is majority owned – albeit indirectly -- by the Austrian Porsche-Piech family. VW is involved in the design, manufacture and distribution of not just passenger and commercial vehicles, but also motorcycles and engines. In addition, it offers related services including financing and leasing. Volkswagen AG is essentially the parent company of the Volkswagen Group.

Volkswagen saw its net income grew sevenfold in 2010 to EUR6.84 billion ($9.42 billion), according to a report from the company on Feb. 25. Volkswagen is relying on growth in Brazil, Russia, India and China to surpass Toyota -- the largest carmaker in the world in terms sales and profitability -- by 2018.

Revenue at Volkswagen jumped 21 percent to EUR126.8 billion in 2010, while its earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) in the year leaped to a record EUR7.14 billion. This compares to just EUR1.85 billion in EBIT posted in 2009.

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