Toyota’s president Akio Toyoda is the lowest-paid chief, even if the automaker reached the highest return in 2012 among the five largest automakers in the world.
Since it took control of the company in June 2009, Toyoda managed to revive the automaker’s profit and image, after the natural disaster which affected production and the recall of millions of vehicles.
“Akio has been tested like no other CEO of Toyota in the last 30 years,” said Maryann Keller, principal at auto industry consulting firm Maryann Keller & Associates in Stamford, Connecticut. Compared to Toyoda, “the competition is overpaid.”
Toyoda’s pay for 2012 was 184 million yen ($1.9 million), an increase of 35% compared with the previous year and, based on the company’s increasing profit, he approved the biggest bonus for the automaker’s workers since 2008.
In 2010 Toyota gave up his bonus pay after the automaker had to recall more than 8 million vehicles, a move which led to a US Congressional hearing. Without the bonus pay, Toyoda’s annual compensation was less than 100 million yen, the lowest among the three largest automakers in Japan.
“I was feeling enormous pressure and was full of anxiety as I went in to bring up the rear of this losing battle,” he said at the company’s annual meeting that year.