According to a new survey by salary expert Heinz Evers for financial daily Handelsblatt, the executives for the 30 companies listed on Germany's DAX stock market index earned on average just below what they did before the global financial crisis.
The salaries did not drop like they did in 2008, when most of Germany's chief executives saw their salaries reduced by an average of €1 million, the paper said.
Leading earners included Siemens CEO Peter Löscher and RWE head Jürgen Großmann, who both took home around €7.2 million in 2009, as well as Volkswagen head Martin Winterkorn who raked in €6.6 million. But these sums do not include separate pension benefits of between €1-2 million that are de facto compensation, the paper added.
But Handelsblatt also reported major German companies are working to reform their executive payments due to a new law passed over the summer that exacts limits on immediate bonuses and pegging salaries on sustainable components.
So far only car manufacturer Volkswagen has introduced a completely new system, the paper reported.