CEO Pay Goes Through the Roof
October 23rd, 2013
The Guardian newspaper in London reported, “For the first time ever, the 10 highest-paid chief executives in the US received more than $100m in compensation last year, and two took home billion-dollar paychecks, according to a leading annual survey of executive pay.”
The studied showed that the top 10 CEOs in this year’s poll took home over $4.7bn between them, and “for the first time ever, none earned less than $100m.”
“I have never seen anything like that,” said Greg Ruel, GMI’s senior research consultant and author of the report. “Usually we have a few CEOs at the $100m-plus level but never the entire top 10.”
“Father Seamus Finn, a corporate governance expert at Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, said the numbers were ‘ridiculous’.”
“It’s an amazing number. Who knows how compensation committees come up with them?”
Finn, who has campaigned against what he sees as excessive remuneration at companies including Goldman Sachs, said boards often argued that they would lose talent unless they paid top management huge sums.
“But I’ve seen no evidence of that,” he said. “These huge pay deals are seldom linked to shareholder returns.”
Nearly all the outsized gains came from stock options and other share-related compensation. The top 10 made $3.3bn in 2012 on stock option profits and the vesting of restricted stock. Cash bonuses totalled $16.2m.