Nadella tips pay scale ahead of Indian CEOs

Nadella tips pay scale ahead of Indian CEOs

The world is always curious about what the high and mighty earn. So its natural that people ask how much Satya Nadella, the newly minted CEO of Microsoft is paid.

And, whether he matches the pay packages of Bangalore’s IT honchos. A quick look at the average salary packages shows that one man who is a match for Nadella pay is Tata Consultancy Services CEO N Chandrashekaran. However, Infosys CEO S D Shibulal, Wipro Chairman Azim Premji and Wipro CEO T K Kurien lag behind the Microsoft CEO’s salary muscle.

Nadella’s base annual salary is around Rs 7.5 crore or $1.2 mn, which is around Rs 60 lakh a month. Taking into account bonus and incentives, his total package will be $18 million or Rs 112 crore annually, which is around Rs 10 crore a month. Compare this with Chandrashekaran of TCS who gets approximately Rs 11 crore or $2 million annually as base salary apart from bonus, stocks and incentives, and is clearly ahead of Nadella.

Infosys CEO Shibulal’s base salary is Rs 36 lakh a year, while total annual compensation, including bonus, incentive and stocks would amount to Rs 65 lakh or $119,776 annually.

Even Azim Premji, one of the wealthiest people in India, takes home a package of Rs 4.5 crore, Rs 3 crore less than Nadella. Wipro CEO T K Kurien takes home an average package of Rs 3 crore to Rs 4.5 crore annually.

Can we compare salary packages of US and Indian companies? Mohandas Pai, former Infosys HR Director and CFO, says the comparison may not be right given the different conditions under which companies operate in India and the US. “Companies in the US are bigger than Indian IT companies, their revenues are bigger, they make large profits, which is why CEOs of US companies are paid higher than their Indian counterparts. Indian companies are smaller, make lower revenues and profits. So CEO’s are paid less.”

The only exception to the trend, says Pai, are family-owned businesses or industries. “The compensation to Indian honchos would match what Nadella gets is only if a family-driven company offers itself a huge package because the family is itself the owner. But my assessment is that families in India give themselves outrageous salaries that are not sustainable in the economy. Compensation given to IT CEOs on professional grounds is not bad, but could improve. This will happen only if the companies grow bigger. That takes time.”

IISc academicians in computer science say that US companies pay higher salaries compared to their Indian counterparts. Even in India, the multinational labs pay higher than Indian firms. Professionals who join MNC labs are well paid not only in India, but even when they travel to the US.

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