The directors of Britain's leading companies saw their pay jump 37% over the past year, according to a survey.
Directors' pay has been pushed up by the stock market rally since 2003
For the first time, the bosses of firms listed on London's FTSE 100 index earned more than £1bn in total in the 12 months to the end of June.
The best paid boardrooms were at Barclays Bank and household product firm Reckitt Benckiser, the survey for the Guardian newspaper found.
The data covers 1,389 directors paid by their firms in the last financial year.
On average, the pay for a chief executive rose to £2,875,000, according to the Guardian report.
The figures were calculated by taking it into account wages, benefits and bonuses, including those from share-based incentive schemes.
TOP PAID FTSE 100 BOSSES
Bob Diamond, Barclays Bank: £23m
Bart Becht, Reckitt Benckiser: £22m
Giles Thorley, Punch Taverns: £11m
Lord Browne, BP: £11m
Trevor Reid, Xstrata: £9m
Source: The Guardian
The latter has been a big contributor to the strong rise in directors' pay packets as the value of share options bought three years ago has surged with the FTSE 100 index climbing 52% over that period to 20 July.
This was before concerns over earnings prospects began to upset investors.
Even accounting for the recent fallout in stock markets, shares are still way above average prices in 2004.
The best paid executive was Bob Diamond, the head of Barclays' investment banking unit, who earned £23m last year.
While his basic wage was £250,000, he soared to the top of the wage scale through performance-related bonuses and share-related incentives.
Hot on his heels, Reckitt Benckiser chief executive Bart Becht earned £22m last year, while the boss of Punch Taverns pubs Giles Thorley earned £11m.
Dame Marjorie Scardino, chief executive of Financial Times publisher Pearson, held her ground as highest paid female in the group, though she is just one of two to be included in the survey period.
The other female executive is Dorothy Thompson of the Drax power station company.