BERLIN, March 25 (Xinhua) -- The remuneration of chief executive officers (CEOs) of Germany's largest companies increased by 3.6 percent to an average 7.5 million euros (8.5 million U.S. dollars) in 2018, the German consulting agency hkp group announced on Monday.
The "moderate" development of the managers' remuneration would correspond to the "moderate development of earnings" of Germany's largest companies, commented Regine Siepmann, head of Board Services at hkp group.
"With declining annual bonuses, we simultaneously see further increases in long-term remuneration," added Siepmann.
Hkp analyzed the annual financial reports of 28 of the 30 largest German companies, which are listed on the DAX, the German stock index.
The payment service provider Wirecard and the industrial gas company Linde, which are also listed on the DAX, were not included in hkp's analysis because they have not yet published their financial reports for the past financial year.
Stefan Heidenreich, former CEO of German personal care company Beiersdorf, was the top earner among the CEOs of Germany's DAX listed companies with an annual income of 23.45 million euros in 2018.
Heidenreich's high earnings were a result of the "cumulative payment of variable remuneration over several years," according to hkp. Based on preliminary calculations, Heidenreich would also be the top earner in a European comparison.
In second place among Germany's highest earning CEOs was Oliver Baete of German insurer Allianz with 10.33 million euros, followed by Bill McDermott, CEO of software company SAP, with 9.97 million euros, according to hkp. In 2017, McDermott had set the previous remuneration record with 21.15 million euros.
The decline in remuneration among the automobile manufacturers' CEOs was particularly remarkable, according to hkp. The CEOs of Daimler and BMW ranked 6th and 17th with salaries amounting to 8.26 million euros and 5.80 million euros, respectively.
"The decline in the salaries of CEOs at the large German automakers is due to the falling earnings figures in 2018," Siepmann told Xinhua on Monday.
Siepmann added that this would be particularly evident in the case of Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler, whose remuneration fell by around a third in 2018 after profits of Daimler had declined by nearly 30 percent.
The CEO of Germany's largest carmaker Volkswagen was not included in the comparison due to changes in the company's management. Herbert Diess, who became CEO of Volkswagen in April 2018, earned 8.49 million euros in 2018 and would be ranked 6th in hkp's list. (1 euro = 1.13 U.S. dollars)