Swiss voters have rejected a proposal that would have limited executive pay to 12 times that of the lowest paid.
The referendum saw 65.3% vote against the plan with 34.7% in favour.
The country is home to a range of giant businesses, including pharmaceutical companies Novartis and Roche, the insurance groups Zurich and Swiss Re and the banks UBS and Credit Suisse.
The rules would have given Switzerland the world’s toughest pay rules and some of the lowest executive salaries.
Business leaders said that would limit foreign investment and the government was also opposed to the proposal.
The Young Socialists, who proposed the measure, admitted defeat.