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Pay Check

Pay / GDP

Discover how much world leaders and CEOs earn compared to the GDPs (in millions) of their respective countries. For example, the table below shows that Samsung CEO Kinam Kam earns £2.22 for every £1,000,000 that South Korea generates in GDP.

#Name / RoleCompanyGDPPay / GDP
1Kinam KimSamsung (South Korea)1,619,4242.22
2Satya NadellaMicrosoft (USA)20,544,3432.09
3Sundar PichaiGoogle (Alphabet) (USA)20,544,3432.04
4Oliver ZipseBMW (Germany)3,947,6201.35
5Bernard ArnaultLouis Vuitton (France)2,777,5351.3
6Chuck RobbinsCisco (USA)20,544,3431.26
7Mark ZuckerbergFacebook (USA)20,544,3431.1
8Bob ChapekDisney (USA)20,544,3431.1
9Ola KälleniusMercedes (Germany)3,947,6200.97
10John DonahoeNike (USA)20,544,3430.9
11Virgina RomettyIBM (USA)20,544,3430.85
12Bob SwanIntel (USA)20,544,3430.81
13James QuinceyCoca Cola (USA)20,544,3430.79
14Stephen EasterbrookMcDonalds (USA)20,544,3430.77
15Larry CulpGeneral Electric (USA)20,544,3430.75
16Akio ToyodaToyota (Japan)4,971,3230.72
17Tim CookApple (USA)20,544,3430.56
18Jennifer MorganSAP (Germany)3,947,6200.54
19Christian KleinSAP (Germany)3,947,6200.51
20Jeff BezosAmazon (USA)20,544,3430.08
21Larry EllisonOracle (USA)20,544,3430.08

* Pay refers to total remuneration, which can include bonuses, stock options, pension contributions and other benefits. The CEOs included here head up Interbrand’s top-20 global brands (there are 21 CEOs in this list because Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein are joint CEOs of SAP). Figures were converted from native currencies to GBP, EUR and USD using forex rates at close on 18 March 2020. You can see the full research methodology for Pay Check here.

CEO and world leader pay vs GDP: fast facts

  • Samsung’s Kinam Kim earns more in relation to his country’s GDP than any other top-20 brand CEO, with pay of £2.22 for every £1,000,000 that South Korea generates
  • Oracle’s Larry Ellison is the lowest paid top-20 global brand CEO by this metric, earning just £0.08 for every £1,000,000 of US GDP
  • The average top-20 global brand CEO earns £0.94 for every £1,000,000 that their country generates in terms of GDP (equivalent to €0.94 per €1,000,000 or $0.94 per $1,000,000)



This research enables you to compare the pay of CEOs from the FTSE 100 and top-20 global brands (according to Interbrand), as well as OECD heads of state and government. The term ‘pay’ has been used as a general term for the income that these individuals receive for their stated role, which may include a base salary, public grants, bonuses, stock options, pension contributions, and/or other forms of remuneration. CEO pay refers to total remuneration, rather than base salary. Where applicable, figures were converted to GBP, USD and EUR using forex rates at close on 18 March 2020. A full list of sources for the quoted data, including GDP and average salary figures, is available to download here.

About IG

IG is an award-winning, multi-platform trading company, the world’s No.1 provider of spread betting and CFD trading,1 and a global leader in forex. It provides leveraged trading products with negative balance protection,2 and an execution-only share dealing service. A range of affordable, fully managed investment portfolios completes IG’s comprehensive offering.,The company is a member of the FTSE 250, and has offices across Europe, North America, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. It also offers on-exchange limited risk derivatives via the Nadex brand in the US.,1 Based on revenue excluding FX (published financial statements, February 2018); for forex based on number of primary relationships with FX traders (Investment Trends UK Leveraged Trading Report released August 2018).,2 Does not apply to professional traders.