Sunday, June 30, 2013

It's Good To Be A Corporate King

If American businesses really are being "crushed by regulatory burdens" and "driven into uncompetitiveness by massive government overreach" it sure as hell isn't being reflected in CEO pay at America's largest corporations.   While real wages for workers went down again in 2012 and have never exceeded their 1972 peak, CEO pay jumped by double digit percentages in 2012 and are now substantially above where they were even at pre-2007 financial crisis levels.

WHEN we made our annual foray into the executive pay gold mine in April, chief executives’ earnings for 2012 showed what appeared to be muted growth on the year. The $14 million in median overall compensation received by the top 100 C.E.O.’s was just a 2.8 percent increase over 2011, the figures showed. 

Well, what a difference a few months and a larger pool of C.E.O.’s make. According to an updated analysis, the top 200 chief executives at public companies with at least $1 billion in revenue actually got a big raise last year, over all. The research, conducted for Sunday Business by Equilar Inc., the executive compensation analysis firm, found that the median 2012 pay package came in at $15.1 million — a leap of 16 percent from 2011.  

And it's not just CEOs making hundreds of times the wages of average employees, other top chief-level executives are pulling in huge salaries too.

Because the data shows only chief executives’ pay, it does not reveal how good it still is to be a prince. Brian Foley, an independent compensation consultant in White Plains, pointed out that the 2012 compensation of the No. 2 executives at some of these companies would have vaulted them to the top ranks on the C.E.O. roster. 

“The interesting thing is that there are people at these companies that make as much or more than other C.E.O.’s,” Mr. Foley said. “I’m sure it’s a case of ‘Look at what the C.E.O. has; I want more of that.’ “ 

Two things that shock me here.  One, there's at least 200 US companies with more than $1 billion in revenues each year.   At the top of the heap are companies like Apple, making hundreds of billions in revenue in a year.  That easily adds up to trillions in corporate revenues, and hundreds of billions in pure profit.

Second, the other officers at some of these massive corporations, the CFO, the COO, etc are making millions each year too, in some cases more than the CEOs of smaller corporations.  That's just nuts.

Republicans and Democrats aside, these guys are the real problem.  Did you get a 16% raise last year?

I didn't think so.

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