BHP boss tops list of Australia's best-paid CEO's yet reported earnings fail to tell the full story

BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) head Marius Kloppers has topped a recent list of Australia's best-paid corporate bosses for 2011 yet inadequacies in reporting requirements means much CEO income remains undisclosed.

Data released by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) indicates that Kloppers received AUD$11.8 million in statutory remuneration in 2011, beating out ANZ Bank executive Mike Smith for the top spot.

Fairfax reports that ACSI's list is misleading, however, as inadequacies in disclosure requirements mean major windfalls reaped by CEO's for cashing in share options are omitted.

Tony Poli, head of second-tier iron-ore player Aquila Resources, reported official pay of only $572,000 yet received $169 million from the conversion of options issued five years prior.

The data also indicates that reported pay for Australia's corporate chiefs slumped last year due to bonus declines. The average bonus for top-100 CEO's declined 8.9%, with some forgoing a bonus altogether.

Despite the mild pay slump for corporate chiefs CEO remuneration-levels have still outpaced average Australia wage growth by double, and risen three times faster than inflation.

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