“What is the right income level for bosses of the world’s largest companies? Greek philosopher Plato is said to have felt the incomes of the wealthiest Athenians should not be more than five times greater than those of the poorest citizens.
“Management writer Peter Drucker suggested in the 1970s that anything above 20:1 was inappropriate, a view also espoused a century ago by John Pierpont Morgan, the US financier. George Orwell thought 10:1 was about right.
“FTSE 100 chief executives’ average total pay in 2013 was 120 times the average earnings of their employees – up from 47 times in 1998, though down from a peak of 151 times in 2007, according to Manifest, the proxy voting agency, and MM&K, a consultancy.
“The ratio of executive-worker pay at big banks often exceeds 100 times. Companies with lower-paid workforces sometimes have even bigger gaps: US chief executives at Walt Disney and Coca-Cola, for instance, are respectively paid 653 and 427 times more than the median pay of their employees.”
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