|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
Taking a look at trends show that in 2010, CEO pay:
•Climbed back toward prerecession levels. Median CEO pay in 2010 was $9.0 million, based on 158 Standard & Poor’s 500 index companies with the same CEO serving all of 2009 and 2010 that have reported CEO pay, according to the USA TODAY analysis of data from GovernanceMetrics based on proxies that have already been filed.
The median amount that CEOs actually took home — which includes salary and cash bonuses, as well as stock and options awarded in previous years that vested or were cashed in — was $8.6 million. That’s the most CEOs have pulled down since the median of $9.2 million in 2007, according to GovernanceMetrics’ analysis of S&P 500 companies.
•Bounced back in a big way. CEOs’ 2010 median pay jumped 27% from $7.1 million in 2009, one of the largest increases in recent history. The jump was a complete reversal from 2009 and 2008, when most CEOs took a pay haircut. The growth in CEOs’ median pay topped the median 21% total return that investors would have collected if they owned shares of the companies in the compensation analysis.
•Delivered big bonuses. CEOs received a median of $2.2 million from bonuses, up 47% from $1.5 million in 2009. And that comes on top of a healthy 7% boost to the median salary, which is now $1.1 million.
•Set up for an even bigger payday in the future. CEOs saw the estimated future value of stock and options awards take off in 2010, with the median value gaining 32% to $5.6 million. These stock and options, many of which were granted when stock prices were much lower than they are now, stand to create a shower of wealth when CEOs cash them in.
While companies in the S&P 500 boosted profit 47% last year, much of that was due to cost-cutting and layoffs, not from the creation of businesses and growth, Lazonick says. Revenue, a gauge of the money flowing into businesses for selling goods and services, grew at a much slower pace than profit — and ended the year up just 7%.