CEO Pay: Wall Street NOT in Top 10

Last Updated Nov 15, 2010 6:21 PM EST

The Wall Street Journal has completed its survey of CEO compensation from 456 US companies with revenue of at least $4 billion that filed proxies between October 1, 2009 and September 30, 2010.


Wall Street-haters will be quite pleased: bank and investment honchos didn't make it into the top 10. Only two financial services firms made it into the top 20--#13 was Lawrence Fink of Blackrock at $22.6 million and #20 was Jay Fishman of Travelers at $19.5 million.
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein (he was the guy who took home a $68 million bonus in 2007!) looks like a bargain at $8.25 million, compared to JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon at $15.1 million, though not nearly as good a deal as some former bank CEO's like Morgan Stanley's John Mack at $800,000 or Bank of America's Ken Lewis at $0!

Here are the top 10-earning CEO's:
  1. Gregory B. Maffei of Liberty Media Corp $87.1 million: four times larger than his 2008 package
  2. Larry Ellison of Oracle Corp $68.6 million: most of that took the form of options, valued at $61.9 million
  3. Ray Irani, of Occidental Petroleum Corp $52.2 million: best-paid CEO in an April study, takes the bronze medal this time
  4. Carol Bartz of Yahoo $44.6 million: not bad for her freshman year as CEO. Yahoo shares are up 41% from January 30, 2009
  5. Leslie Moonves of CBS $37.6 million: package included nearly $13 million in stock option grants and $6 million in performance awards
  6. Phillipe Daunman of Viacom $33.7 million: mostly from options, restricted shares and performance awards
  7. Marc Casper of Thermo Fisher $33 million: option grants, restricted shares and performance awards combine for the bulk of the total comp
  8. J. Raymond Elliot of Boston Scientific $32.1 million: 90 percent of comp consisted of long-term awards created when he was hired in July, 2009
  9. Ralph Lauren of Polo Ralph Lauren $27 million: including a $19.5 million annual incentive
  10. John Hammergren of McKesson $24.4 million: primarily from options and performance awards
According to the Journal:
The latest survey shows chief executives' pay increasing along with shareholder returns...Overall, median total direct compensation for CEOs in the sample rose 3.0% during their latest fiscal year, as total shareholder return came in at 29%. Total direct compensation includes salary, bonuses and the awarded value of stock, options and other long-term incentives. The gains were driven by higher company share prices and annual bonuses.
Does corporate America understand how much this fries the onions of all of us out here in the real world? I don't care how much the stocks of these companies are up, especially when so many of them are up from low levels that occurred because of mismanagement at the top and haven't returned to their pre-recession levels.

Are the Boards of Directors asleep at the switch or have they simply gone back to business as usual? At a time when so many in this country continue to suffer, I can't help but feel a little sick to my stomach as I review these numbers. Don't get me wrong--I think bosses should make money when they deliver results, but these figures demonstrate a complete lack of rationality, relative to what has occurred over the past three years.

Image by Flickr User Ben Sutherland, CC 2.0
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    Jill Schlesinger, CFP®, is the Editor-at-Large for CBS MoneyWatch. She covers the economy, markets, investing or anything else with a dollar sign. Prior to the launch of MoneyWatch in 2009, Jill was the chief investment officer for an independent investment advisory firm. In her infancy, she was an options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York.

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