(Adds additional comment from FT spokeswoman)
LONDON, Aug 3 (Reuters) - A group of Financial Times reporters have complained about the pay of CEO John Ridding, who earned 2.6 million pounds ($3.4 million) in 2017, and called for him to give back some of the money, according to an email seen by Reuters.
The FT’s Steve Bird, joint head of the paper’s National Union of Journalists group, wrote to FT editors and journalists across the world, saying Ridding’s pay was absurdly high and that he should give some back to help those on lower salaries.
FT accounts, filed on July 27, showed that the paper’s highest-paid director, Ridding, earned 2.55 million pounds in 2017. The accounts restated his earnings for 2016 at 2.04 million pounds.
“We believe that John Ridding should give back his absurdly large pay increases since 2016 and use the funds to reward all staff, especially those on lower salaries, and to help bridge the gender pay gap,” Bird wrote in the email dated Aug. 1.
Ridding did not respond to a request for comment.
Bird confirmed that the FT’s union committee sent the email to all journalist staff expressing outrage at Ridding’s salary.
“We don’t comment publicly on individual pay,” a spokeswoman for the FT said. “However, reward at the FT is performance related and the FT grew both revenues and profits in 2017 while investing in new products and services.”
In the email, which was signed by over 20 FT journalists, Bird said the paper had suffered years of negligible pay rises, real-terms pay cuts and squeezed resources.
“The company’s decision to pay its chief executive 100 times the salary of a trainee journalist makes a mockery of any concept of fairness and breaks the bounds of corporate integrity,” Bird wrote.
Japanese media group Nikkei bought the Financial Times from Britain’s Pearson for $1.3 billion in 2015. (Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Dale Hudson)