Greedy CEOs a disservice to transformation


The last thing you would expect in a country like South Africa, ranked as one of the most unequal in the world with the ever yawning gap between the rich and the poor, is the growing breed of greedy CEOs who are paid outrageous salaries that defy the economic realities surrounding them.


It appears some heads of companies live on a different planet and operate by their own rules. If not, who can rationalise how a Chief Executive Officer of a listed company that prides itself on caring for the community earn 725 times than the average salary of his employees in a country with replete with socio-economic challenges?


Logically, or at least as the rules of the workplace stipulate, a person should be rewarded for high productivity and nothing else. But, ludicrously, executives of some companies whose annual reports have not contained the word ‘profit’ mentioned in them in light years still get millions in bonuses.


All the more, the arrogance of those who justify such astronomical earnings is an unpardonable disservice to transformation as was read from comments by the CEO of a strike-hit company Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), Chris Griffith. On being asked the justification of earning a bonus of R9.9 million on top of a basic salary of R6.7 million, unrepentantly, he fumed: “Am I getting paid on a fair basis for what I’m having to deal with in this company?  Must I run this company and deal with all this nonsense for nothing?  I’m at work. I’m not on strike.  I’m not demanding to be paid what I’m not worth.”


For sure, if corporate South Africa claims to exist for society’s good, it should put money where its mouth is and rid itself of the dishonour of greed which threatens to negate whatever good it has been seen to be doing, if any.


One thought on “Greedy CEOs a disservice to transformation

  1. How can someone justify earning that much. The problem of inequality is major one. And it doesn’t seem like it will be solved soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.