Rio Tinto CEO pockets $11.3m in salary

Rio Tinto chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques has received a 27 per cent pay rise in 2019 for achieving high profits, safety rates and share growths at the company.

Jacques’ total remuneration including bonuses was £5.8 million ($11.3 million) last year, in line with the United Kingdom consumer price index (CPI).

Rio Tinto also increased the annual base salary for its directors by 2.11 per cent as of March.

Jacques’ base salary of £1.11 million is still less than that of former BHP chief executive Andrew Mackenzie, whose base salary edged above at £1.33 million. This is also retained for BHP’s incumbent chief executive Mike Henry.

Rio Tinto remuneration committee chairman Sam Laidlaw noted in the company’s 2019 annual report that Jacques’ raise was “consistent with that applied to the broader employee population”.

Laidlaw noted market competitiveness against relevant peer companies and pay equity, along with a focus on gender pay as key assessments in applying this increase.

“During 2019, the committee materially expanded its review of reward structure and outcomes across the group, covering all elements of pay,” Laidlaw stated in the report.

“The CEO pay ratio of 66:1 is primarily driven by the percentage of total renumeration for the CEO that is performance related.

“(This) reflects the slightly higher short-term incentive plan (STIP) pay-out and the estimated 24 percentage increase in the long-term incentive plan (LTIP) vesting outcome for 2019 compared to 2018.”

Gender pay was a key focus for Rio Tinto during 2019, with the remuneration committee constantly monitoring both equal pay and gender pay gap across the company.

“The committee maintains a focus on the gender diversity in senior management roles as a means to address the gender pay gap across the group,” Laidlaw explained.

“We are pleased with the broader initiatives being implemented across the group in this area and note that the group-wide equal pay and gender pay gaps remain at less than 2 per cent and 1 per cent respectively.”

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