In my opinion, the 'obscene' pay seen to be paid to some top executives is simply the reward for having the ability and skills required to take the helm of large, sometimes unwieldy businesses and something to admire, not something to take issue with.
However, if public money has been pumped into a business to support it through troubled times, then the pay of executives is of course something that needs to be closely monitored on behalf of the public to ensure fair play and appropriate use of the public purse. We need to remember that at this level, the talent required to drive a business to 'obscene' profits, pull a business out of trouble or stem losses is vast and consequently pay levels should reflect this.
It is also true that times have changed and ignoring shareholders opinions when it comes to top executives pay has become an ever more dangerous stance and the communication to these shareholders in this regard needs to be handled carefully. Indeed, the importance of this top down communication is reflected in any business, however large or small. If the information communicated down from top execs, MD's, owners or managers is not delivered in the right way and at the right time, it can leave employees with a negative opinion of the business and bring into question their future with the business.
Obscene or not, this debate is far from over and whilst it rages on it will continue to generate huge emotion.
The soaring pay of British bosses has gone beyond a joke. Few people have heard of Tony Pidgley, the founder and chairman of the property giant Berkeley Group. But his latest pay rise puts him in the same pay bracket as Ronaldo and Adele. In 2015, Pidgeley’s pay soared from just under £4m to £23.3m in a single year, thanks to a performance-related share option scheme. In total, 10 leaders of FTSE 100 companies were awarded a combined £100m in addition to their pay in 2015; Flemming Ørnskov, the boss of medical group Shire, saw his pay rise sixfold, from £2.5m to £15m. RBS boss Ross McEwan saw his pay double despite presiding over a loss at the state-owned bank.