Meet the world’s highest paid female CEO

The pay of UK company Bet365 CEO Denise Coates has revealed her to be the highest paid female CEO in the world.

Denise Coates, who with her brother John founded the company in a mobile home overlooking her father’s bookmakers shop in Stoke-on-Trent in the Midlands, earned £323 million (US$422.5 million) in the year to March, 26% more than a year earlier, according to regulatory filings.

Coates was paid $277 million in the year to March and also pocketed half of the company’s dividend payout, The Guardian reported.

Her latest earnings means she has been paid more than a $1 billion since the company was formed 19 years ago.

According to the Forbes list of billionaires, Denise Coates has a net worth of $12.2 billion.

Bet365 outperforms rival listed companies despite tightening regulations in European markets. Bet365 reported record revenues of just under £3 billion in the year to March 31 — a 10% increase on the previous year. Pre-tax profit increased 17% to £800 million.

Coates’s salary is more than 60 times the £4.7 million mean annual pay package of a FTSE 100 CEO in 2018. The highest-paid boss of a UK-listed company was Jeff Fairburn of Persimmon, who received £38.9 million last year, the High Pay Centre think-tank said in a report published in August.

Coates, who once worked as a cashier in her family’s bookmaker shops, is one of the top three taxpayers in the UK, according to the Sunday Times.

Sarah Coles, a personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said Coates was likely to have paid around £125 million of her salary in tax, which she could have reduced by taking more in dividends.

Born in September 1967, the eldest of four children, the businesswoman was inspired by her father Peter, the son of a Stoke-on-Trent miner, who bought a chain of bookies called Provincial Racing. She graduated with a first from Sheffield University in econometrics before returning to the family business.

In 1995 her father made her managing director, leaving him time to amass control of his beloved Stoke City Football Club.

Convinced online gambling would one day replace traditional shops, she persuaded her brother John, the joint chief executive, to back her plans.

In a rare interview, Coates once said: “I’m not a regular at the races. I’m a regular in the workplace. My family is what’s important to me.”

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