The biggest CEOs worldwide earn astronomical sums of money each year. People often question if these titans of industry merit the salary they receive – some feel it is deserved given the huge responsibility on their shoulders whilst others simply consider them ‘greedy fat cats’. Interested in CEOs earnings, identified the 10 highest paid CEOs in the world and then utilised their salary to hourly calculator to work out how long it would take Germans to make what each CEO does in five found that Germans need to work an astonishing 13 weeks, 3 days and 5 hours to make what Elon Musk does in five minutes (€12,854). To put that into context, the Tesla maverick in five minutes can buy 153 return flight tickets for Berlin to London. In second place is Tim Cook, as it would take Germans 3 weeks and 3 hours to earn the same amount the Apple CEO does in five minutes (€2,888). In the space of five minutes, Cook can buy three iPhone 12’s without breaking a sweat.

Tom Rutledge is in third position. To bank the €2,526 the American telecoms tycoon makes every five minutes, Germans would need to labour for 2 weeks, 3 days and 4 hours. Interestingly, Germans would have to spend 2 weeks to accumulate the same five-minute income as Sundar Pichai (€1,861), the head of Google subsidiary Alphabet Inc. Just below Sundar Pichai in ninth place is Satya Nadella. Germans would have to work for 1 week, 3 days and 7 hours to gain the €1,669 the Microsoft chief makes per five working minutes.

Germans earn good, but not that good

Out of the highest paid CEOs, it would take German workers the least amount of time (1 week, 3 days and 1 hour) to make the €1,516 Douglas Ingram enjoys for every five minutes he spends working.

• 85% of Germans feel that it is ‘unjustified’ for major CEOs to be paid millions each year, whilst 15% think it is ‘justified’
• 77% of Germans don’t understand what major CEOs do on a day-to-day basis to merit being paid millions each year
• 72% of Germans would like major CEOs to be more transparent about what they do on a day-to-day basis and the positive actions they are taking to grow/improve the respective organisations they lead
• Overwhelmingly, 93% of Germans feel the current income disparity between CEOs and average workers is ‘too wide’ and needs to drastically ‘shrink’ in the next five years