David Thodey, outgoing chief executive of Telstra, has just gone on record: CEO pay is out of control. Swimming against the tide, Thodey said his remuneration was indefensible, and called for change. A cynic might suggest that it is all very well for Thodey to say these things, especially after he pocketed $27M while he was the chief executive. Nevertheless, Thodey's call is not unique. One in four chief executives think that time is more important the money.
Is Thodey's call, and those of others, a harbinger of change to rein in executive pay? I hope so. History tells us that gross disparities between the 'haves' and the 'have nots' can lead to uprisings and, potentially, bloodshed. The French revolution, Bolshevik Revolution and the Arab Spring are notable examples, although there are many others. To make some adjustments now may be just the pressure release valve that many in society are looking for.
Thoughts on corporate purpose, strategy and governance; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.