Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has revealed he is paid a salary of just SAR1 (US$0.25) per year and charges his company Kingdom Holding the same amount in annual rent.
In an interview to be published in Arabian Business on Sunday 16 December, the Kingdom Holding chairman also calls on other company bosses with significant share stakes in their businesses to take nominal salaries and have their packages directly linked to performance.
“My salary is actually very reasonable. I get paid SAR1 a year, and also I charge Kingdom Holding SAR1 a year to lease this floor at Kingdom Centre. So in six years since going public, I have earned just SAR12,” Alwaleed tells the magazine.
He adds: “That’s my salary - I take no more. I have no stock options, I take nothing. Never. To me, corporate governance is very important, it is crucial. Now all banks admire Kingdom Holding because we practice what we preach in corporate governance and they know that. I believe it is important that the chairman should be the role model to the members of his entity.
"Others are not the same because they work for a salary. But I have a big stake in the company and I benefit from the share price going up. I believe they should follow suit. I believe any chairman, CEO or high-ranking official in the company should have his or her package linked directly to the performance of the company.”
The Saudi Prince, who owns 95 percent of Kingdom Holding, also reveals that he is yet to be paid the SAR12 he has earned over the past six years, telling the magazine: “They haven’t even paid me yet! Kingdom still owes me the money.”
Alwaleed, through Kingdom Holding, owns stakes in companies including Citigroup, Apple, News Corporation and Twitter.
* The full interview with Prince Alwaleed will be published on Sunday 16 December as part of the 2012 Arabian Business Rich List, also published on the same day.