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Executive salaries highest at Samsung Biologics, CelltrionEarns 16 times larger annual income than employees on average
  • By Jeong Sae-im
  • Published 2020.04.09 11:13
  • Updated 2020.04.09 16:37
  • comments 0

Samsung Biologics recorded the widest salary gap between its executives and employees among the Korean pharmaceutical companies last year.

According to the analysis of business reports of 20 largest pharmaceuticals in 2019, there was a salary gap of 6.7 times on the average between their employees and registered executives except for auditors and outside directors.

The salary gap was widest at Samsung Biologics, with 16.2 times. The average annual salary of the company’s employees stood at 75 million won ($61,425) last year, compared with 1.21 billion won for executives. CEO Kim Tae-han received 1.96 billion won, more than 26 times higher than an average employee.

Two unregistered executives -- Vice Presidents John Lim and Yoon Kwang-hoon -- also got more than 1 billion won, respectively, in yearly emolument.

Celltrion also showed a salary gap of 15.84 times, more than twice higher than the industry’s average.

Celltrion employees received about 69 million won on average a year, compared with 1.09 billion won for executives. Chairman Seo Jeong-jin took home 1.41 billion won, 20.4 times more than an average employee. CEO Ki Wu-seong received 777 million won.

Celltrion drew the industry’s attention as some executives garnered more than 10 billion won by exercising their options to buy stocks. A case in point was Park Sang-do, an advisor, who raked in a hefty 16.35 billion won in stock option benefits. Park received 16.4 billion won in salaries and bonuses last year. Senior Vice President Lee Sang-jun, an unregistered executive, got 2.04 billion won last year, including 1.48 billion won in stock option benefits.

Dong-A ST marked the salary gap of 11.95 times with its executives and employees receiving an average of 753 million won and 63 million won, respectively, last year. Vice President Lee Dong-hun was the top salary earner in the company, with 1.57 billion won.

Samjin Pharm paid 12.42 billion won to five registered executives last year. Former CEO Lee Sung-woo, who retired last year after 18 years of service, took 9.58 billion won. The other four executives got 710 million won on the average, 9.71 times higher than the average of 73 million won for its employees. Two owners – Co-Chairmen Cho Eui-hwan and Choi Seung-ju – received 974 million won each.

Korea United Pharm showed a salary difference of 9.22 times, as the company paid 470 million won to its executives on average and 51 million won to an average employee. The company paid the lowest wage to its employees among the 20 drugmakers. Founder Kang Deok-young and his eldest son, CEO Kang Won-ho, took 994 million won and 792 million won, respectively.

Dongkook Pharm’s salary gap was 7.3 times, by paying an average of 490 million won and 56 million won, respectively, to its executives and employees. No executives in the company received more than 500 million won last year.

GC Pharma recorded the industry’s average salary gap with 6.75 times. Chairman Heo Il-seop, a second-generation manager, received 900 million won. The comparable differences at Handok and Hanmi Pharm were 6.24 times and 6.16 times, respectively.

Yuhan, which paid the highest average annual salary of 880 million won to its employees, showed the salary gap of about five times. Its registered executives got 441 million won on average. CEO Lee Chung-hee received 825 million won last year.

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