- The Find: Despite a slew of dramatic management failures, CEO pay actually went up in 2008 with a larger percentage of compensation packages given in stock, according to a newly released report.
- The Source: The Conference Board Top Executive Compensation report.
- Compensation mix is reallocated towards stock. Almost all industries show a reallocation of compensation towards stock and away from total cash compensation and stock options. In financial services (non-banks), for example, the average percent of total compensation delivered in non-equity incentives fell by 2.62 percentage points (from 24.19 to 21.57).
- Cash may be losing share-but the median CEO still earns more of it. Median cash compensation increased in more than two thirds of the industries studied (as did total compensation overall).
- Food and tobacco executives are the top earners. Among the 22 industries represented, food and tobacco shows the highest median CEO total compensation... followed by utilities, insurance, and financial services (non-banks).
- CEOs already have plenty of "skin in the game." Of the largest ten percent of companies in the sample, the median CEO holds almost 100 times (99.97 percent) of his/her salary in total stock and stock options holdings in the company.
The Question: Is giving CEOs more stock and therefore more of an incentive to focus on boosting short term share price really the way to go?