Burberry boss highest paid woman on FTSE 100

Angela Ahrendts, the boss of Burberry fashion chain is now the highest paid executive of any London Stock Exchange company.

by Michael Northcott
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013

The CEO of Burberry, 53-year-old yank Angela Ahrendts earns almost £17m per year, a massive £5m more than the next highest paid person in the FTSE 100. That makes her the first ever woman to get to the top of executive pay rankings in Britain.

The figures came from a survey of top executives at the top 350 publicly listed companies in the UK, by pay consultancy group MM&K and showed that her pay package includes her bonus, company benefits and also the sale of some shares she had been awarded.

Ahrendts is credited with transforming Burberry from a traditional British trench coat manufacturer into one of the most iconic fashion labels in the world, which now turns over about £6.3bn.

As general secretary of the TUC, Frances O’Grady points out, however: ‘It would be wrong to interpret a female topping the CEO pay list as some sort of breakthrough for women's equality. The majority of Britain's boardrooms and senior positions remain closed to women.’

Indeed, Ahrendts is one of just three women CEOs in the FTSE 100. The numbers of women in the top job are dwindling as Cynthia Carroll has departed mining firm Anglo American, and Marjorie Scardino has left the top job at Pearson publishing group.

Still, Ahrendts herself is not in favour of quotas for women on boards. She says: ‘Just put the best person into the job. It is not about gender, it is about experience, leadership and vision. A man could do this job.’

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