Ahrendts, born in the U.S., earned over $7.8 million more than the CEO who was the next highest paid. The second highest paid was CEO Angus Russell from Shire, the pharmaceutical giant.
The earnings for the highest paid CEOs were revealed in a survey released each year by Manifest, the corporate governance firm and MM&K the remuneration consultancy.
It is just the first time in the 15 years the survey has been held that the top spot went to a female. Just three CEO seats, at major companies in Britain, are occupied by women. Those include Imperial Tobacco’s Alison Cooper, EasyJet’s Carolyn McCall and Burberry’s Ahrendts.
Ahrendts, who became CEO in 2006 at Burberry, has received credit for turning the luxury fashion brand around and expanding its presence in the Asian market.
Share prices of Burberry have more than tripled since 2006 when she took over the helm. The fashion house now holds a market capitalization of close to $10 billion.
However, the pay package for Ahrendts for 2012 is much less than some CEO’s based in the U.S. including Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, who earned $96.2 million in 2012.
The total package of earnings for Ahrendts includes her salary, bonuses and benefits. However, not factored into that are the deferred share options and bonuses.