A prominent member of the Alzheimer's Society has described the charity's decision to pay its new leader a salary of about £125,000 as "verging on the immoral".
The organisation is seeking a successor to chief executive Neil Hunt, who departed in January without serving his notice period. Hunt was paid between £110,000 and £120,000, set by the society's remuneration committee.
Roger Newman, a committee member of the Canterbury and District branch who was awarded an MBE for charitable services, described the salary as "outrageous", particularly in the existing economic climate.
"Let's go instead for someone dedicated and empathetic and willing to serve because they have a feeling that it is right to do so," said Newman.
Ruth Sutherland, the society's acting chief executive, said the position being advertised was a vital and complex role.
"The society has an agreed pay strategy for all its salaries, including that for our chief executive," she added.
"This is to ensure that we are able to recruit the highest calibre candidates with the right skills and experience to improve the lives of those living with dementia.
"We have advertised an appropriately competitive market-referenced salary to maximise our ability to attract the right chief executive."
Sutherland said: "The exact salary will be negotiated with the right candidate but any increase will represent a growth in the role and the market rate at the time of recruitment."
The socety had an income of £51.7m in the year 2008-9.