Does-S-Oil-pay-too-much

Korea’s No. 3 refinery pays highest salaries despite profit dip

Koreans tend to call well-paying jobs “workplaces even gods would envy.” If gods do envy any good jobs, they would want to work at S-Oil, Korea’s third-largest oil refinery.

According to a recent research of local job search portal Job Korea, the average salary of S-Oil employees was $120,810 to top the podium followed by Meritz Securities with $116,400.

Came in at third was the country’s top refinery SK Innovation with $112,900 chased by two brokerages of Samsung Securities and NH Investment & Securities with $106,700, respectively.

World’s top memory chip maker Samsung Electronics and Korea’s primary mobile operator SK Telecom barely topped the $100,000 mark with $104,900 and $102,290, apiece. Samsung’s cross-city rival SK hynix failed to reach six digit at $94,500.

Of note is that S-Oil is far from being the most profitable company in Asia’s No. 4 economy.

Interestingly, S-Oil CEO Othman al-Ahamdi was picked as the best chief executive of the year by Korea Management Association Consulting late last year. In other words, the country’s best CEO was leading the highest-paying under-performer.

Samsung chalked up an operating profit of around $55 billion last year while that of SK hynix also approached $20 billion. In comparison, S-Oil failed to surpass $600 million in operating income.

Declining oil prices chipped away at the bottom lines of oil companies across the country in 2018. Most of them saw their profits plummet more than 30 percent.

But S-Oil suffered most as its operating income plunged in excess of 50 percent. In fact, it was included in the list of the five worst firms that experienced the most drastic cut in their profits last year, according to private think-tank CEO Score.

S-Oil officials attributed the worse-than-expected performance to weak petroleum value – the crude oil price was higher than $80 per barrel in early last October but dipped to below $50 in less than two months.

Yet, its competitors like SK Innovation and GS Caltex did not suffer such a big dent in their profits.

Interestingly, S-Oil CEO Othman al-Ahamdi was picked as the best chief executive of the year by Korea Management Association Consulting late last year. In other words, the country’s best CEO was leading the highest-paying under-performer.

 

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