The typical big-company CEO raked in $11.5 million last year in salary, stock and other compensation, according to a study by executive data firm Equilar for The Associated Press. That’s an 8.5 percent raise from a year earlier, the biggest in three years.
The bump reflects how well stocks have done under these CEOs’ watch. Boards of directors increasingly require that CEOs push their stock price higher to collect their maximum possible payout, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index returned 12 percent last year.
Over the last five years, median CEO pay in the survey has jumped by 19.6 percent, not accounting for inflation. That’s nearly double the 10.9 percent rise in the typical weekly paycheck for full-time employees across the country.
Here are some other highlights from the AP’s annual package of stories on CEO pay, which was published this past week. To see the full roundup, please visit apnews.com/tag/SpecialReport:CEOpay
THE TOP OF THE CHARTS
The top-paid CEO last year was Thomas Rutledge of Charter Communications, at $98 million. The vast majority of that came from stock and option awards included as part of a new five-year employment agreement, and Charter’s stock will need to more than double for Rutledge to collect the full amount.
No. 2 on the compensation list last year was Leslie Moonves of CBS, who earned $68.6 million. No. 3 was Walt Disney’s Robert Iger, who made $41 million. The media business is full of big paychecks, where actors and other employees far from the executive suites can make millions of dollars, and the industry’s CEOs have traditionally pulled down some of the country’s biggest packages.
NAY ON PAY
CEO pay did fall for one group of companies last year: those where investors complained the loudest about executive pay. Compensation dropped for nine of the 10 companies scoring the lowest on “Say on Pay” votes, where shareholders give thumbs up or down on top executives’ earnings.
At Exelon, for example, the majority of…