Two weeks ago we watched Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata waltz on stage at E3 2010 and fondle the new 3DS handheld (much like Steve Jobs recently caressed the iPad and iPhone 4 during their debut). But during the presentation--or actually at any other time for that matter--did you stop and wonder just much Iwata and other Nintendo top dogs actually bring home every year?
A new legislation in Japan is now forcing companies to reveal the salaries of any board member earning over ¥100 million a year ($1.13 million USD). Nintendo coughed up its numbers, revealing that Iwata has a base salary of ¥100 million ($770,000 USD) but can reach to ¥187 million ($2.11 million USD) thanks to performance-based bonuses.
As for the other six Nintendo board members, they were not individually named (although developer Shigeru Miyamoto is one of them), however the group earns ¥100 million ($1.13 million USD) in total. For Miyamoto, that paycheck just doesn't seem to justify the revenue his designs have brought the company over the last two decades. However the famed developer has always insisted on staying level with the other producers, refusing a higher salary.
So what about salaries outside Nintendo? Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer was forced to reveal his earnings, reporting a meaty ¥816.5 million ($9.20 million USD). Sega Sammy Holdings CEO Osamu Satomi earns ¥435 million ($4.90 million USD) and Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada brings in ¥240 million ($2.70 million USD). In America, Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices division president Robbie Back brought home $6.21 million USD in 2009.
After reading all of this, does it seem that Iwata is actually underpaid when compared to other CEOs?
¥100 million ($1.13 million USD)
Which one is it?
...wait, so where did all that profit go? R&D I suppose... 3DS FTW!!
If they can lead the company ethically to success they deserve some of that money... If they fail due to their own incompetence, they dont deserve it...
But ask yourself, if an executive keeps a company that's near death alive saving tens of thousands of jobs, do they deserve the million dollar salary they were collecting prior to the problems?
The remainder should be considered compensation for the responsibilities associated with the position itself.
I don't begrudge people these kind of salaries considering what they do, the thing that gets to me is that when you're paid according to your responsibilities you should also have to pay for failing to live up to them.