The world’s top five technology companies are minting millionaires at an unprecedented pace, handing out stock awards that are more than 60% higher on average than the bonuses for workers in Britain’s financial services industry.
Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook and Google’s parent Alphabet doled out a combined $20bn (£15.4bn) in share payouts last year, on top of the techies’ salaries, according to an analysis of stock market filings.
The tech industry’s elite all enjoyed increases in their share prices last year, helping them to displace former stalwarts such as Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and Exxon Mobil as the world’s most valuable public companies outside China. Apple is ranked No 1 with a market cap of about $770bn, followed by Alphabet, Microsoft and Amazon, with Facebook at No 5 on $435bn.
The $20bn bonanza equates to $29,850 for each of the quintet’s 670,000 employees. Last year Britain’s bankers and insurance workers took home £13.9bn in bonuses, an average of £13,400 per employee.
Global industry pays more in bonuses across the world than the one country sector of a global business.
Next they’ll be telling us that Google paid less in bonuses in the UK than it did worldwide.