It’s a topic that often gets the headlines. The salaries of the top CEOs in each country. Poland is no different in this regard. Be it the CEO of a top bank or of one of the largest listed companies on the local stock exchange, everyone is interested. Not just as an interesting story to read, but as an aspiration for many of us to aim for. Today we focus our story on how much the CEOs of the biggest companies in Poland earn.
As a prelude its worth considering how salaries in each country should ideally reflect the GDP per capita of a given country. In the U.S. this figure was $76,329 in 2022. The UK came in at $46,125 whilst Poland comes in at $18,688 for 2022 according to the World Bank. Surely salaries reflect this backdrop. We had a look at some of the salaries that are publicly available in Poland today. Most of them are for 2022 as financial results for most Polish companies aren’t completed till nearer the end of the first quarter.
Who earns the most in Poland today?
According to the Polish Press Agency in 2020 there were 149,000 high net worth individuals in Poland. These people are worth minimum $1 million.
Another measure in Poland today is how much the average salaries were. Every two years Poland’s public statistics office (GUS) published information about average salaries. The last time this report was created was for October 2022 when average gross salaries in Poland were 7001 PLN/month. They have gone up a bit since then.
In a recent story from Business Insider there were more insights shared into the actual salaries that some of the CEOs in Poland are getting.
Salaries in the list below are for the full annual year and include bonuses where available:
Daniel Obajtek, CEO of Orlen, Poland’s largest petroleum business, earned 2.518 million PLN in 2022
Wojciech Dabrowski, CEO of PGE, Poland’s largest energy sector company, earned 1.203 million PLN in 2021
Tomasz Hinc, CEO of Grupa Azoty, one of the largest producers of fertilizer in the EU, earned 1.915 million PLN in 2022
Michal Gajewski, CEO of Santander Bank in Poland, earned 3.144 million PLN in 2022 (not including bonuses)
Cezary Stypulkowski, CEO of mBank in Poland, earned 3.6 million PLN in 2022 (not including bonuses)
Julien Ducarroz, ex-CEO of Orange in Poland, earned 5.7 million PLN in 2022
There are more reports available on the market, but the above list gives a good overview of the salaries available in the largest public and private companies in Poland today.
What roles pay more in Poland?
Intriguingly the public sector in Poland continues to pay very little. Consider the newly appointed Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, who will earn 154,000 PLN in 2024. His counterpart in London, Rishi Sunak, earns £167,391. Whilst Joe Biden earns $400,000 per annum.
This same pay structure doesn’t seem to apply to roles such as the head of the central bank. In the U.S., Jerome Powell, the Head of the Federal Reserve earns around $200,000 per annum. In the UK Andrew Bailey, the Head of the Bank of England earns £598,000 per annum. However, most surprising is the salary of Adam Glapinski, the Head of Poland’s Central Bank who makes 1.317 million PLN per year. Or $328,000 per annum or £258,700 per annum:
The biggest surprise will come to those who know Poland well. Average salaries one would assume are highest in the Warsaw region. Capital cities like Paris or London or Dublin all have this same thing in common. In Poland things are different. In Poland the highest average salaries are NOT ones in the capital city. They are highest in Krakow.
With a monthly average gross salary of 9097 PLN, Krakow is the highest paying region in Poland. Warsaw salaries average at 8623 PLN per month.
As the markets change and inflation continues to drive salaries higher, can Poland’s GDP continue to catch up with those of Western countries? Probably.
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