E-commerce boss Ruslan Kogan is one of Australia’s most expensive CEOs

- November 26, 2021 2 MIN READ
Ruslan Kogan. supplied
Ruslan Kogan. supplied
Ruslan Kogan, founder and CEO of the ASX-listed online retailer bearing his name, is paid more than the chief executives of retail giants Woolworths, Coles and Wesfarmers, taking home a whopping $9 million pay packet last year.

But it seems many of the company’s shareholders question that cost, with the company’s remuneration report copping a 42% against vote at Thursday’s AGM, delivering a second strike against the business.

Kogan’s pay packet was revealed in the AFR’s annual list of Australia’s 50 highest-paid CEOs.

He is the nation’s sixth highest-paid CEO, just behind BHP Group boss Mike Henry on $10.08 million and ahead of Woolies boss Brad Banducci on $8.38 million.

Woolworths (ASX: WOW) has a market capitalisation of around $49 billion, generating more than $67 billion in sales and an EBIT of $3.6 billion in FY21.

Its share price has climbed from $35 at the startup of the year to above $40. The company paid an FY21 dividend of $1.08 at a dividend yield of 2.8%.

Kogan.com (ASX: KGN) posted gross sales of $1.179 billion in FY21. The company reported an 87% drop in net profit after tax (NPAT) in FY21 to just $3.5 million. It was a wobbly year for the company, which downgraded  FY21 earnings forecasts in May before an improved update in June.

The business also fell foul of regulators in the courts. Twice. Misleading ‘tax time savings’ ads cost the company a $350,000 fine in December and then another $310,000 fine in January this year for Spam Act breaches.

Kogan.com’s preferred reporting metrics are adjusted to exclude non-cash items including the unrealised FX gain/(loss), equity-based compensation and one-off non-recurring items. Kogan’s adjusted EBITDA was $61.8 million, up 24.5% on FY20. Adjusted NPAT was $42.9 million, up 43.2% on FY20.

But it was a good 12 months financially for Kogan.com co-founders Ruslan Kogan and CFO David Shafer, who in August last year sold a 6.9% stake in the business, worth around $160 million, following the FY20 results. They sold 7.3 million shares at between $21.60 and $22.25.

The chief executive subsequently landed an $8.4 million pay rise.

Kogan chairman Greg Ridder told the AGM  that seeing the CEO “well rewarded” also meant “shareholders will be well remunerated”.

The business paid at interim dividend of $0.16 cents in May at a 0.02% yield before announcing in August that it would withhold a final dividend for the year.

The share price started the year at $19. At Friday’s close it sits at $8.01, losing another 5.6% today.