The average total pay of FTSE 100 boards fell by almost 6% last year, excluding share option schemes.
Companies which have come strongly through the recession are able to offer better remuneration than those which have struggled, according to research from RTF Navigator, a pay database.
Each FTSE 100 board received on average £5.5m in salaries, bonuses benefits and pension contributions in the financial year ending in 2009, down from £5.8m the previous year.
Peter Newhouse, a renumeration consultant at the Reward Technology Forum, said: “Pay is polarising between the ‘have done well’ and the ‘have done badly’. Companies negatively affected by the recession are struggling to offer top-notch pay packages. However, some businesses are continuing to do well and their wage bill reflects that.”
He added this will almost certainly lead to a two-tier market in executive pay, as the UK economic recovery gathers pace.
Tesco’s board was the highest-paid in each of the last two years, taking home a total of £19.4m, a slight rise of £19.2m in 2007-08.
RBS, which has been in the spotlight over executive pay, dropped out of the top 10 this year after coming second last year.
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