Porsche chief beats Renault-Nissan's Ghosn in 2007

Wiedeking crowned as top earner

Porsche chief beats Renault-Nissan's Ghosn in 2007

Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking
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MUNICH -- Porsche doesn't reveal how much CEO Wendelin Wiedeking earns each year but experts say it's at least 60 million euros, or nearly $96 million.

One thing is clear: The entire management board pocketed 112.7 million euros ($180.3 million) for 2007. More than half probably went to Wiedeking.

Wiedeking took the wheel at Porsche when the sports car manufacturer was in trouble and the company was worth just 300 million euros. After 13 years under his leadership, its value is about 25 billion euros.

Wiedeking says the main features of his employment contract were never changed. That worked out well for him, since he was guaranteed about 1 percent of annual profit when he took the job.

That's enough to put him in first place among the industry's top earners, substantially ahead of Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Renault-Nissan. Ghosn made 34.5 million euros ($45.5 million) in 2006, according to Fortune. That doesn't even include his salary at Nissan. Figures aren't available yet on Ghosn's earnings in 2007.

But he has left Christian Streiff, CEO at PSA/Renault-Citroen, far behind. According to Automobilwoche estimates based on the PSA annual report, Streiff earned more than 3.1 million euros.

At 13.8 million euros ($21.7 million), Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally was the best-paid American automotive executive in 2007, considerably ahead of Rick Wagoner at General Motors.

GM paid Wagoner nearly 3.2 million euros ($4.6 million) last year.

With the separation from Chrysler, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche didn't just rid himself of a burden. He also improved his salary. He made about 10.7 million euros in 2007.

In contrast, the nearly 5 million euros that Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn earned is decidedly modest.

In Japan, things are different. Last year, Toyota paid its entire 37-member leadership team 15.3 million euros without stock options.

Toyota CEO Katsuaki Watanabe probably earned less than 1 million euros. The pay for his entire team amounts to just a quarter of Wiedeking's salary. But amenities such as a company villa and free membership in the best golf club in the country aren't part of that calculation.

You can reach Matthias Karpstein at mkarpstein@craincom.de.

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