Seven out of the ten best paid executives in Japan are not Japanese, according to Tokyo Shoko Research. It’s been more than ten years since Japanese companies were obliged to disclose the details of executives earning more than ¥100m (around $900K) and was cited as one of the reasons that Nissan got themselves into such a twist about their CEO Carlos Ghosn’s pay.
No Nissan executives appear in the Top 30 this year, unsurprisingly. The number of executives paid over ¥100m has risen for the first time in two years, and Hitachi has the most – with 15 executives including the British head of the rail division, Alistair Dormer. Dormer is not, however, being paid more than his Japanese boss, Mr Higashihara, although this has happened in the past at companies such as NSG.
The financial group MUFG has 11 executives earning over ¥100m and Mitsui, the trading house conglomerate and Daiwa Securities both have 9. Tokyo Electron and SoftBank both have 8 executives earning over ¥100m. SoftBank’s Simon Segars, British CEO of ARM is the highest paid executive of a Japanese company, earning ¥1,880m (around $17m) and SoftBank’s COO Marcelo Claure is the third highest paid, with SoftBank’s Rajeev Misra, Ronald Fisher, Miyauchi Ken and Goto Yoshimitsu at #6, #7, #12 and #21 respectively.
FANUC, Daikin, Toyota Motor, LIXIL, Sony, ENEOS and Mitsubishi Electric all have 7 executives earning more than ¥100m. I would be surprised if the latter was in the rankings next year, however, given its current difficulties.
Other high earning foreign executives include Christophe Weber at #2 and two other executives at Takeda Pharma, Didier Leroy at Toyota Motor (#4) , Bijoy Mohan at LIXIL (transferred with LIXIL’s Grohe acquisition) and Stefan Kaufman at Olympus.
So if you want to be a high paid foreign executive at a Japanese company, work for a Japanese company that has a high proportion of its business overseas either through organic growth (Toyota) or more likely through acquisition – Hitachi Rail, Takeda, LIXIL, Olympus, SoftBank.