Samsung Electronics, the world's largest mobile phone maker, paid the highest wages to non-owner family company executives among conglomerates, annual reports filed Monday showed.
The company said it paid vice chairman Kwon Oh-hyun 6.77 billion won ($6.36 million) in wages last year, with other top executives also being paid large sums.
According to the company's annual corporate report, Kwon, who heads the company's device solutions operations, received the highest pay among senior executives, followed by Shin Jong-kyun, head of the company'information technology and mobile division, who earned 6.21 billion won.
Coming in third was Yoon Boo-keun, head of the consumer electronics business, getting a little over 5.08 billion won.
Samsung Electronics did not release wage information for the company's chairman Lee Kun-hee and his only son and heir-apparent Lee Jay-yong because they gave up their posts as corporate directors. Lee Boo-jin, the chairman's daughter and president of Hotel Shilla, was the only family member whose pay was disclosed. She was paid 3 billion won last year.
Most of the country's largest businesses released salary information in their annual regulatory filings on Monday, the deadline date.
The move prompted criticism that they chose the same date to distract public attention from particular firms. Wage information was provided in finer details for the first time following law revisions in November requiring companies to release specific numbers for all executives earning at least 500 million.
The head of SK Group, South Korea's third-largest family-run conglomerate, or chaebol, topped the list of wages.
The data published by listed SK companies showed Chey Tae-won having received a combined 30 billion won in salaries and other bonuses from four affiliates, including SK hynix and SK Innovation last year.
The tycoon had stepped down from most of his posts within the conglomerate after the country's highest court upheld a four-year jail sentence against him for embezzling company funds.
Besides Chey, Chung Mong-koo, chairman of Hyundai Motor Group,received around 14 billion won as director of Hyundai Motor,Hyundai Mobis and Hyundai Steal. His son Chung Eui-sun, who also holds top posts in the world's fifth-largest automotive conglomerate, got 2.43 billion won.
Other executives within the conglomerate received between 800 million and 1.4 billion won in wages. The group includes Kia Motors, South Korea's No. 2 carmaker, and Hyundai Mobis, the country's largest automotive parts manufacturer.
LG Electronics, Samsung's rival in mobile phones and home appliances, said its vice chairman Koo Bon-joon got 1.27 billion won in wages.
Lotte Group, the country's fifth-largest chaebol said it paid its chairman Shin Dong-bin 4.44 billion won last year. Cho Yang-ho, head of Hanjin Group, which has Korean Air Lines Co. under its wing, got paid 5.7 billion won, with Cho Seok-rae, the chairman of Hyosung Group, getting 3.9 billion won.
Hanwha Group Chairman Kim Seung-youn and GS Caltex CEO Hur Dong-soo got about 10 billion won in wages each last year.
Kim stepped down from key managerial positions after he was given a suspended sentence for using company money to pay back debts of other firms he was running under borrowed names.
CJ Group chair Lee Jay-hyun, another entrepreneur accused by authorities of misappropriation of company assets, received 4.75 billion won in wages.
Park Gee-won, CEO of Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction, got 1.6 billion won, with Hyundai Group chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun getting 800 million won as a director for Hyundai Elevator Cho Dong-gil, head of Hansol group, got 1.7 billion won in wages, while Chung Mong-gyu, chief of Hyundai Development got 700 million won.
Among financial firms, Lim Young-rok, CEO of KB Financial Group, got 1.2 billion won, while the total wages and benefits that went to Han Dong-woo, head of Shinhan Financial Group, stood at 1.4 billion won.
Financial observers then said that while less known than top managers of big conglomerates, Kim Hyung-seob, the chairman of PAL & C, a company that makes the NEPA brand of outdoor equipment and apparel, earned just over 20 billion won, making him the second best paid person last year. The total includes severance pay.
Besides the KOSPI listed companies, EG Corp., a firm traded on the tech-heavy KOSDAQ market, said it paid its largest shareholder Park Ji-man 670 million won in wages last year. EG makes iron oxides and extracts precious metals and is a supplier for POSCO.
Park, who is chairman of the company, is the younger brother of South Korean President Park Geun-hye. (Yonhap)