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Volkswagen CEO's pay package soars on record group profit

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Mr Mueller earned 10.14m euros in pay and benefits in 2017.

Berlin

VOLKSWAGEN group's record earnings drove up chief executive Matthias Mueller's salary package by about 40 per cent last year, to 10.14 million euros (S$16.44 million) in pay and benefits, the carmaker said on Tuesday.

A year ago, Europe's largest carmaker introduced new compensation rules for managers to curb investor criticism over big bonuses paid to executives in the wake of its 2015 "dieselgate" emissions scandal.

Mr Mueller, 64, whose contract expires in 2020, earned almost a fifth more than the 8.6 million euros that Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche made for 2017, when Daimler's Mercedes-Benz brand beat rivals Audi and BMW in global luxury car sales for a second year.

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Volkswagen group nearly doubled its 2017 operating profit even as it pushes a costly strategic shift to electric and self-driving cars and grapples with its emissions scandal.

In 2016, Mr Mueller had earned 7.3 million euros under VW's then backward-looking remuneration system, which allowed bonuses to be partly based on VW's performance over the previous two years.

Under the new rules, the carmaker's supervisory board capped total pay for its CEO at 10 million euros and other top managers at 5.5 million euros.

Under Germany's HGB commercial code, overall compensation of VW group's top executive board jumped 27 per cent to 50.3 million euros last year from 39.6 million a year earlier, VW said.

Sources at VW said Mr Mueller's salary package exceeded the 10 million limit because of perks and retirement provisions that are usually included under HGB rules. Without those, the CEO would have earned about 9.5 million euros. REUTERS