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Equilar: Median CEO Pay for 100 Largest Companies Hits Record $15.7 Million

Equilar: Median CEO Pay for 100 Largest Companies Hits Record $15.7 Million
(Chakrapong Worathat/Dreamstime)

By    |   Wednesday, 11 April 2018 04:41 PM

The chief executive officers of some of America’s biggest companies are taking home even larger paychecks, according to a new study.

Average CEO pay at the biggest U.S. companies rose 5 percent in 2017 to the highest figure in 11 years amid a robust stock market and soaring equity awards, according to a new study by executive compensation and governance research firm Equilar, which studied compensation of the 100 largest public companies by revenue.

The median pay for CEOs at the biggest U.S. companies was $15.7 million in fiscal 2017, up from 2016's previous high of $15 million.

Dan Marcec, Equilar's director of content and communications, told the Washington Post that the number was not surprising given that the majority of CEO pay is made up of stock grants and 2017 was a banner year for market performance: The S&P 500 index saw a nearly 20 percent climb.

"The number shows us, frankly, that we’re seeing more of the same," he said. "We’ve seen continued increases over the past seven or eight years and it’s consistent with a bull market. The higher stock prices are on the whole, the higher CEO compensation is going to be."

Click here for the full list of CEOs is on the following page in an interactive table.

Highlights of the Equilar report:

  • Median pay again rose for Equilar 100 CEOs. Median pay for Equilar 100 CEOs overall was $15.7 million in fiscal year 2017, in comparison to $15.0 million for the CEOs on the previous year’s list*.

    On an individual level, Equilar 100 CEOs saw a 5% pay increase at the median in fiscal year 2017. By comparison, the median pay increase for CEOs on last year’s Equilar 100 list was 6%.

  • The median CEO pay ratio for the Equilar 100 was 235:1. Among the 69 companies on the list reporting the ratio of CEO pay to that of a median employee, the median ratio was 235:1. Because the pay ratio disclosure was required for companies whose fiscal year began on or after January 1, 2017, 31 companies in the Equilar 100 were exempt from reporting this figure in their most recent proxy statements.

  • The highest ratio was not correlated to the highest pay. Manpower Group, a provider of workplace solutions, reported the highest ratio among Equilar 100 companies at 2,483:1. Its CEO, Jonas Prising, was awarded $12.0 million in 2017, translating to the 76th highest-paid among Equilar 100 CEOs. Yet because the company’s 600,000 employees are mostly on temporary work assignments, the median pay among them was $4,828. Warren Buffett, with his annual compensation of $100,000, turned in the lowest CEO pay ratio at approximately 2:1.

  • Though few in number, women CEOs are concentrated among the highest-paid. Of the eight women represented on this year’s Equilar 100 list, five were among the top 20 highest-paid. Safra Catz of Oracle, fourth on the highest-paid list, was awarded $40.7 million in 2017, essentially flat from the year before. Notably, the number of women CEOs in the Equilar 100 dropped in 2017 from nine to eight, one of whom was Meg Whitman, who has since left her position at Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

  • Berkshire and Apple once again led in total revenue. Berkshire Hathaway was the largest company by revenue in the second straight Equilar 100 study, earning $242.1 billion in fiscal year 2017, an 8% gain from the previous year. Apple remained the only other company with more than $200 billion in revenue, increasing 6% to $229.2 billion in 2017. AT&T had the third-largest revenue on the list with $160.5 billion.

(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).

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The chief executive officers of some of America's biggest companies are taking home even larger paychecks, according to a new study.
equifax, ceo, pay, compensation, chief executive
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2018-41-11
Wednesday, 11 April 2018 04:41 PM
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