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Former SAP chief Bill McDermott earned 15.2 million euros in 2019 – company report

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Former SAP <SAPG.DE> chief executive Bill McDermott in 2019 earned 15.2 million euros, probably making him the top earner among executives of companies in Germany’s bluechip DAX index.

The section on compensation within the company’s earnings report on Thursday showed that his pay level in 2019 was about 29% up from a year earlier. It was above a 10 million level that has often drawn criticism from shareholder representatives.

It showed that – measured in accordance with the German Corporate Governance Codex – of the 15.2 million in compensation, 10.3 million came from share options under long-term incentive (LTI) earnings components.

McDermott will continue to receive pay-outs from the multi-year LTIs until 2023.

McDermott led the business software company for a decade up until last October, achieving growth through a succession of multi-billion dollar deals.

He did not receive severance pay because he left the company on his own accord, a spokesman said in reply to a query.

SAP has been defending the pay, arguing that to retain top talent, it must pay top management globally competitive salaries.

IT sector salaries in the U.S. can be higher still.

McDermott’s successors, co-CEOs Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein, have been working on internal integration, SAP’s cloud assets, streamlining sales and the flagship S/4HANA platform.

They are expected to be earning significantly less, starting out with lower share ownership. Before they started their term, they earned just under 2 million euros each.

The executive pay modalities are on the agenda of SAP’s annual general meeting on May 20 in Mannheim.

(Reporting by Ilona Wissenbach; Writing by Vera Eckert; Editing by Michelle Martin)