Afterpay duo Nick Molnar and Anthony Eisen lead top 20 list of highest-earning CEOs

Afterpay tech

Afterpay co-founders Nick Molnar and Anthony Eisen. Source: supplied.

The milestone earnings of Afterpay co-founders Anthony Eisen and Nick Molnar have crowned them as the top-earning Australian CEOs of the 2021 financial year — no surprise, given the combined $264 million they pocketed.

On Wednesday, the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) unveiled its annual list of top-earning CEOs of ASX200 companies, taking note of their take-home pay, bonuses, and stock options linked to their executive positions.

Eisen and Molnar set a new record with $264,222,249 in combined realised earnings, in no small part due to the August 2020 decision to execute 1.5 million stock options at $1, when the Afterpay share price hovered near $90. 

Beyond the fortunes of the Afterpay duo, ACSI noted executive earnings rebounded from the suppressed levels experienced in pandemic-struck 2020, when the economic outlook was far less certain.

“Our latest analysis shows that the pendulum swung significantly in the opposite direction over the following 12 months, evidencing a market-wide ‘catch up’ in pay for CEOs – and, most likely, their executive teams,” said ACSI CEO Louise Davidson.

Median cash pay for ASX100 CEOs — that is, earnings exclusive of bonuses or exercised stock options — was $2.8 million in the 2021 financial year, up 41.6% from the prior period.

And bonuses for ASX100 CEOs hit a new record of $2.31 million.

“An increase is expected when you have had your lowest year on record, but it is concerning to see bonuses not just rebounding but reaching new heights,” Davidson added.

The top 20 list of CEOs, their companies, and their realised earnings can be found below:

  1. Anthony Eisen & Nick Molnar, Afterpay, $264,222,249
  2. Paul Perreault, CSL, $58,914,531
  3. Mick Farrell, ResMed, $37,403,034
  4. Greg Goodman, Goodman Group, $37,105,490
  5. Robert Thomson, News Corporation, $28,690,792
  6. Michael & Matthew Heine, Netwealth Group, $25,846,554
  7. Alex Dorsch, Chalice Mining, $17,806,728
  8. Shemara Wikramanayake, Macquarie Group, $14,693,343
  9. Jack Truong, James Hardie, $13,321,625
  10. Brad Banducci, Woolworths Group, $11,788,098
  11. Richard Weil, Janus Henderson Group, $11,483,165
  12. Ron Delia, Amcor, $11,325,798
  13. Elizabeth Gaines, Fortescue Metals Group, $11,119,309
  14. Vincent English, Megaport, $10,676,056
  15. Mike Henry, BHP Group, $10,464,599
  16. Lewis Gradon, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, $9,878,197
  17. Chris Ellison, Mineral Resources, $9,452,857
  18. Magnus Nicolin, Ansell, $9,292,432
  19. Andrew Barkla, IDP Education, $9,252,820
  20. Kevin Gallagher, Santos, $9,137,037

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