Domino's CEO Don Meij

On Tuesday the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors revealed that Domino’s Pizza CEO Don Meij was the highest paid executive in Australia, with an annual pay packet of NZD40 million – a figure 435 times the average wage. Now, in an unprecedented move, Domino's Pizza Enterprises has issued a statement looking to counter those claims.

“Domino’s does not as a practice comment on executive remuneration,” a Domino’s spokesperson said. “However, it is important to clarify that the amount quoted in the report as remuneration for Mr. Don Meij predominantly reflects the increase in the value of 600,000 share options granted in 2013 following shareholder approval and exercised by him in September 2016. These were linked to the achievement of significant long-term targets for the business over a period of three years.”

"As reported to the market at the time of exercise of the share options, Mr. Meij retained 556,087 of the resulting shares, illustrating his commitment to the Company through an increase in his personal shareholding.”

The ACSI was less than impressed with Meij’s pay.

“At a time when public trust in business is at a low ebb and wages growth is weak, board decision to pay large bonuses just for hitting budget targets rather than exceptional performance, are especially tone-deaf,” ACSI CEO Louise Davidson said. “This may be a sign that boards have lost sight of the link between a company’s social licence and the expectations of communities and investors.”