P/sunny
87°
P/sunny
Hi 87° | Lo 62°

Median CEO pay crosses $10 million in 2013

  • This photo combination shows, from left, Nabors Industries CEO Anthony Petrello, in Houston, and TJX CEO Carol Meyrowitz, in Framingham, Mass. Petrello was the highest paid CEO in 2013, and Meyrowitz was the highest paid female CEO in 2013. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Dave Rossman/Boston Globe, Suzanne Kreiter)  BOSTON HERALD OUT, QUINCY OUT; NO SALES

    This photo combination shows, from left, Nabors Industries CEO Anthony Petrello, in Houston, and TJX CEO Carol Meyrowitz, in Framingham, Mass. Petrello was the highest paid CEO in 2013, and Meyrowitz was the highest paid female CEO in 2013. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Dave Rossman/Boston Globe, Suzanne Kreiter) BOSTON HERALD OUT, QUINCY OUT; NO SALES

  • This photo combination shows, from left, Nabors Industries CEO Anthony Petrello, in Houston, and TJX CEO Carol Meyrowitz, in Framingham, Mass. Petrello was the highest paid CEO in 2013, and Meyrowitz was the highest paid female CEO in 2013. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Dave Rossman/Boston Globe, Suzanne Kreiter)  BOSTON HERALD OUT, QUINCY OUT; NO SALES

    This photo combination shows, from left, Nabors Industries CEO Anthony Petrello, in Houston, and TJX CEO Carol Meyrowitz, in Framingham, Mass. Petrello was the highest paid CEO in 2013, and Meyrowitz was the highest paid female CEO in 2013. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Dave Rossman/Boston Globe, Suzanne Kreiter) BOSTON HERALD OUT, QUINCY OUT; NO SALES

  • In this Nov. 16, 2010 photo, Nabors Industries CEO Anthony Petrello poses for photos at the One Great Night in November dinner at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Petrello was the highest paid CEO in 2013 at $68.2 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Dave Rossman)

    In this Nov. 16, 2010 photo, Nabors Industries CEO Anthony Petrello poses for photos at the One Great Night in November dinner at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Petrello was the highest paid CEO in 2013 at $68.2 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Dave Rossman)

  • In this Nov. 16, 2010 photo, Nabors Industries CEO Anthony Petrello poses for photos at the One Great Night in November dinner at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Petrello was the highest paid CEO in 2013 at $68.2 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Dave Rossman)

    In this Nov. 16, 2010 photo, Nabors Industries CEO Anthony Petrello poses for photos at the One Great Night in November dinner at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Petrello was the highest paid CEO in 2013 at $68.2 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Dave Rossman)

  • FILE - In this May 16, 2012 file photo, President and Chief Executive Officer of CBS Corporation Leslie Moonves attends the CBS network upfront presentation at The Tent at Lincoln Center in New York. Moonves’ total compensation rose 9 percent to $65.6 million in 2013, making him the second-highest paid CEO, according to an AP/Equilar analysis. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)

    FILE - In this May 16, 2012 file photo, President and Chief Executive Officer of CBS Corporation Leslie Moonves attends the CBS network upfront presentation at The Tent at Lincoln Center in New York. Moonves’ total compensation rose 9 percent to $65.6 million in 2013, making him the second-highest paid CEO, according to an AP/Equilar analysis. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)

  • FILE - In this May 16, 2012 file photo, President and Chief Executive Officer of CBS Corporation Leslie Moonves attends the CBS network upfront presentation at The Tent at Lincoln Center in New York. Moonves’ total compensation rose 9 percent to $65.6 million in 2013, making him the second-highest paid CEO, according to an AP/Equilar analysis. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)

    FILE - In this May 16, 2012 file photo, President and Chief Executive Officer of CBS Corporation Leslie Moonves attends the CBS network upfront presentation at The Tent at Lincoln Center in New York. Moonves’ total compensation rose 9 percent to $65.6 million in 2013, making him the second-highest paid CEO, according to an AP/Equilar analysis. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)

  • FILE - This Nov. 16, 2006 file photo released by Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc., shows chief executive officer Richard Adkerson in New Orleans. Adkerson was the third highest paid CEO in 2013 at $55.3 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Freeport-McMoRan, File)

    FILE - This Nov. 16, 2006 file photo released by Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc., shows chief executive officer Richard Adkerson in New Orleans. Adkerson was the third highest paid CEO in 2013 at $55.3 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Freeport-McMoRan, File)

  • FILE - This Nov. 16, 2006 file photo released by Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc., shows chief executive officer Richard Adkerson in New Orleans. Adkerson was the third highest paid CEO in 2013 at $55.3 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Freeport-McMoRan, File)

    FILE - This Nov. 16, 2006 file photo released by Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc., shows chief executive officer Richard Adkerson in New Orleans. Adkerson was the third highest paid CEO in 2013 at $55.3 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Freeport-McMoRan, File)

  • This undated photo provided by TripAdvisor shows the company's President and CEO Stephen Kaufer. Kaufer was the fourth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $39 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/TripAdvisor)

    This undated photo provided by TripAdvisor shows the company's President and CEO Stephen Kaufer. Kaufer was the fourth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $39 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/TripAdvisor)

  • This undated photo provided by TripAdvisor shows the company's President and CEO Stephen Kaufer. Kaufer was the fourth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $39 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/TripAdvisor)

    This undated photo provided by TripAdvisor shows the company's President and CEO Stephen Kaufer. Kaufer was the fourth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $39 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/TripAdvisor)

  • FILE - In this June 13, 2012 file photo, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman arrives for the start of an event with Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during the Business Roundtable quarterly meeting at the Newseum in Washington. Dauman made $37.2 million in 2013, making him the fifth highest-paid CEO, according to an AP/Equilar analysis. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

    FILE - In this June 13, 2012 file photo, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman arrives for the start of an event with Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during the Business Roundtable quarterly meeting at the Newseum in Washington. Dauman made $37.2 million in 2013, making him the fifth highest-paid CEO, according to an AP/Equilar analysis. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

  • FILE - In this June 13, 2012 file photo, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman arrives for the start of an event with Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during the Business Roundtable quarterly meeting at the Newseum in Washington. Dauman made $37.2 million in 2013, making him the fifth highest-paid CEO, according to an AP/Equilar analysis. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

    FILE - In this June 13, 2012 file photo, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman arrives for the start of an event with Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during the Business Roundtable quarterly meeting at the Newseum in Washington. Dauman made $37.2 million in 2013, making him the fifth highest-paid CEO, according to an AP/Equilar analysis. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

  • This undated photo provided by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals shows CEO Leonard Schleifer. Schleifer was the sixth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $36.3 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Allan Shoemake)

    This undated photo provided by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals shows CEO Leonard Schleifer. Schleifer was the sixth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $36.3 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Allan Shoemake)

  • This undated photo provided by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals shows CEO Leonard Schleifer. Schleifer was the sixth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $36.3 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Allan Shoemake)

    This undated photo provided by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals shows CEO Leonard Schleifer. Schleifer was the sixth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $36.3 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Allan Shoemake)

  • FILE - In this Tuesday, March 12, 2013, file photo, Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, is interviewed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Iger was the seventh highest paid CEO in 2013 at $34.3 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

    FILE - In this Tuesday, March 12, 2013, file photo, Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, is interviewed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Iger was the seventh highest paid CEO in 2013 at $34.3 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

  • FILE - In this Tuesday, March 12, 2013, file photo, Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, is interviewed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Iger was the seventh highest paid CEO in 2013 at $34.3 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

    FILE - In this Tuesday, March 12, 2013, file photo, Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, is interviewed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Iger was the seventh highest paid CEO in 2013 at $34.3 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

  • FILE - In this July 9, 2013 file photo, David Zaslav, president and chief executive officer of Discovery Communications Inc., arrives at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. Zaslav was the eighth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $33.3 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

    FILE - In this July 9, 2013 file photo, David Zaslav, president and chief executive officer of Discovery Communications Inc., arrives at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. Zaslav was the eighth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $33.3 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

  • FILE - In this July 9, 2013 file photo, David Zaslav, president and chief executive officer of Discovery Communications Inc., arrives at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. Zaslav was the eighth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $33.3 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

    FILE - In this July 9, 2013 file photo, David Zaslav, president and chief executive officer of Discovery Communications Inc., arrives at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. Zaslav was the eighth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $33.3 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

  • FILE - In this May 8, 2008 file photo, Time Warner President and CEO Jeffrey Bewkes attends Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World Gala in New York. Bewkes was the ninth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $32.5 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm.(AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)

    FILE - In this May 8, 2008 file photo, Time Warner President and CEO Jeffrey Bewkes attends Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World Gala in New York. Bewkes was the ninth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $32.5 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm.(AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)

  • FILE - In this May 8, 2008 file photo, Time Warner President and CEO Jeffrey Bewkes attends Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World Gala in New York. Bewkes was the ninth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $32.5 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm.(AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)

    FILE - In this May 8, 2008 file photo, Time Warner President and CEO Jeffrey Bewkes attends Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World Gala in New York. Bewkes was the ninth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $32.5 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm.(AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)

  • FILE - In this June 11, 2013 file photo, Comcast Corp. CEO Brian Roberts speaks during The Cable Show 2013 convention in Washington. Roberts was the tenth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $31.4 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

    FILE - In this June 11, 2013 file photo, Comcast Corp. CEO Brian Roberts speaks during The Cable Show 2013 convention in Washington. Roberts was the tenth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $31.4 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

  • This photo combination shows, from left, Nabors Industries CEO Anthony Petrello, in Houston, and TJX CEO Carol Meyrowitz, in Framingham, Mass. Petrello was the highest paid CEO in 2013, and Meyrowitz was the highest paid female CEO in 2013. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Dave Rossman/Boston Globe, Suzanne Kreiter)  BOSTON HERALD OUT, QUINCY OUT; NO SALES
  • This photo combination shows, from left, Nabors Industries CEO Anthony Petrello, in Houston, and TJX CEO Carol Meyrowitz, in Framingham, Mass. Petrello was the highest paid CEO in 2013, and Meyrowitz was the highest paid female CEO in 2013. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Dave Rossman/Boston Globe, Suzanne Kreiter)  BOSTON HERALD OUT, QUINCY OUT; NO SALES
  • In this Nov. 16, 2010 photo, Nabors Industries CEO Anthony Petrello poses for photos at the One Great Night in November dinner at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Petrello was the highest paid CEO in 2013 at $68.2 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Dave Rossman)
  • In this Nov. 16, 2010 photo, Nabors Industries CEO Anthony Petrello poses for photos at the One Great Night in November dinner at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Petrello was the highest paid CEO in 2013 at $68.2 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Dave Rossman)
  • FILE - In this May 16, 2012 file photo, President and Chief Executive Officer of CBS Corporation Leslie Moonves attends the CBS network upfront presentation at The Tent at Lincoln Center in New York. Moonves’ total compensation rose 9 percent to $65.6 million in 2013, making him the second-highest paid CEO, according to an AP/Equilar analysis. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)
  • FILE - In this May 16, 2012 file photo, President and Chief Executive Officer of CBS Corporation Leslie Moonves attends the CBS network upfront presentation at The Tent at Lincoln Center in New York. Moonves’ total compensation rose 9 percent to $65.6 million in 2013, making him the second-highest paid CEO, according to an AP/Equilar analysis. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)
  • FILE - This Nov. 16, 2006 file photo released by Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc., shows chief executive officer Richard Adkerson in New Orleans. Adkerson was the third highest paid CEO in 2013 at $55.3 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Freeport-McMoRan, File)
  • FILE - This Nov. 16, 2006 file photo released by Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc., shows chief executive officer Richard Adkerson in New Orleans. Adkerson was the third highest paid CEO in 2013 at $55.3 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Freeport-McMoRan, File)
  • This undated photo provided by TripAdvisor shows the company's President and CEO Stephen Kaufer. Kaufer was the fourth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $39 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/TripAdvisor)
  • This undated photo provided by TripAdvisor shows the company's President and CEO Stephen Kaufer. Kaufer was the fourth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $39 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/TripAdvisor)
  • FILE - In this June 13, 2012 file photo, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman arrives for the start of an event with Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during the Business Roundtable quarterly meeting at the Newseum in Washington. Dauman made $37.2 million in 2013, making him the fifth highest-paid CEO, according to an AP/Equilar analysis. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
  • FILE - In this June 13, 2012 file photo, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman arrives for the start of an event with Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during the Business Roundtable quarterly meeting at the Newseum in Washington. Dauman made $37.2 million in 2013, making him the fifth highest-paid CEO, according to an AP/Equilar analysis. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
  • This undated photo provided by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals shows CEO Leonard Schleifer. Schleifer was the sixth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $36.3 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Allan Shoemake)
  • This undated photo provided by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals shows CEO Leonard Schleifer. Schleifer was the sixth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $36.3 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Allan Shoemake)
  • FILE - In this Tuesday, March 12, 2013, file photo, Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, is interviewed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Iger was the seventh highest paid CEO in 2013 at $34.3 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
  • FILE - In this Tuesday, March 12, 2013, file photo, Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, is interviewed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Iger was the seventh highest paid CEO in 2013 at $34.3 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
  • FILE - In this July 9, 2013 file photo, David Zaslav, president and chief executive officer of Discovery Communications Inc., arrives at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. Zaslav was the eighth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $33.3 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
  • FILE - In this July 9, 2013 file photo, David Zaslav, president and chief executive officer of Discovery Communications Inc., arrives at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. Zaslav was the eighth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $33.3 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
  • FILE - In this May 8, 2008 file photo, Time Warner President and CEO Jeffrey Bewkes attends Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World Gala in New York. Bewkes was the ninth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $32.5 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm.(AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)
  • FILE - In this May 8, 2008 file photo, Time Warner President and CEO Jeffrey Bewkes attends Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World Gala in New York. Bewkes was the ninth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $32.5 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm.(AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)
  • FILE - In this June 11, 2013 file photo, Comcast Corp. CEO Brian Roberts speaks during The Cable Show 2013 convention in Washington. Roberts was the tenth highest paid CEO in 2013 at $31.4 million, as calculated by The Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

They’re the $10 million men and women.

Propelled by a soaring stock market, the median pay package for a CEO rose above eight figures for the first time last year. The head of a Standard & Poor’s 500 company earned a record $10.5 million, an increase of 8.8 percent from $9.6 million in 2012, according to an Associated Press/Equilar pay study.

Last year was the fourth straight that CEO compensation rose following a decline during the Great Recession. The median CEO pay package climbed more than 50 percent over that stretch. A chief executive now makes about 257 times the average worker’s salary, up sharply from 181 times in 2009.

The best-paid CEO last year led an oilfield-services company. The highest paid female CEO was Carol Meyrowitz of discount retail giant TJX, owner of TJ Maxx and Marshall’s. And the head of Monster Beverage got a monster of a raise.

Over the last several years, companies’ boards of directors have tweaked executive compensation to answer critics’ calls for CEO pay to be more attuned to performance. They’ve cut back on stock options and cash bonuses, which were criticized for rewarding executives even when a company did poorly. Boards of directors have placed more emphasis on paying CEOs in stock instead of cash and stock options.

The change became a boon for CEOs last year because of a surge in stocks that drove the S&P 500 index up 30 percent. The stock component of pay packages rose 17 percent to $4.5 million.

“Companies have been happy with their CEOs’ performance and the stock market has provided a big boost,” said Gary Hewitt, director of research at GMI Ratings, a corporate governance research firm. “But we are still dealing with a situation where CEO compensation has spun out of control and CEOs are being paid extraordinary levels for their work.”

The highest-paid CEO was Anthony Petrello of Nabors Industries, who made $68.3 million in 2013. Petrello’s pay ballooned as a result of a $60 million lump sum the company paid him to buy out his old contract.

Nabors Industries did not respond to calls from the Associated Press seeking comment.

Petrello was one of a handful of chief executives who received a one-time boost in pay because boards of directors decided to re-negotiate CEO contracts under pressure from shareholders. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold CEO Richard Adkerson also received a one-time payment, of $36.7 million, to renegotiate his contract. His total pay, $55.3 million, made him the third-highest paid CEO last year.

The second-highest paid CEO among companies in the S&P 500 was Leslie Moonves of CBS. Moonves’s total compensation rose 9 percent to $65.6 million in 2013, a year when the company’s stock rose nearly 70 percent.

“CBS’s share appreciation was not only the highest among major media companies, it was near the top of the entire S&P 500,” CBS said in a statement. “Mr. Moonves’s compensation is reflective of his continued strong leadership.”

Media industry CEOs were, once again, paid handsomely. Viacom’s Philippe Dauman made $37.2 million while Walt Disney’s Robert Iger made $34.3 million. Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes earned $32.5 million.

The industry with the biggest pay bump was banking. The median pay of a Wall Street CEO rose by 22 percent last year, on top of a 22 percent increase the year before. BlackRock chief Larry Fink made the most, $22.9 million. Kenneth Chenault of American Express ranked second with earnings of $21.7 million.

Like stock compensation, performance cash bonuses jumped last year as a result of the surging stock market and higher corporate profits. Earnings per share of the S&P 500 rose 5.3 percent in 2013, according to FactSet. That resulted in a median cash bonus of $1.9 million, a jump of 12.6 percent from the previous year.

More than two-thirds of CEOs at S&P 500 companies received a raise last year, according to the AP/Equilar study, because of the bigger profits and higher stock prices.

CEO pay remains a divisive issue in the U.S. Large investors and boards of directors argue that they need to offer big pay packages to attract talented men and women who can run multibillion-dollar businesses.

“If you have a good CEO at a company, the wealth he might generate for shareholders could be in the billions,” said Dan Mitchell, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. “It might be worth paying these guys millions for doing this type of work.”

CEOs are still getting much bigger raises than the average U.S. worker.

The 8.8 percent increase in total pay that CEOs got last year dwarfed the average raise U.S. workers received. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said average weekly wages for U.S. workers rose 1.3 percent in 2013. At that rate an employee would have to work 257 years to make what a typical S&P 500 CEO makes in a year.

“There’s this unbalanced approach, where there’s all this energy put into how to reward executives, but little energy being put into ensuring the rest of the workforce is engaged, productive and paid appropriately,” said Richard Clayton, research director at Change to Win Investment Group, which works with labor union-affiliated pension funds.

Investors have become increasingly vocal about executive pay since the recession. This has led to an increasing number of public spats between boards of directors, who propose pay packages, and shareholders, who own the company. These fights become public during “say on pay” votes, when shareholders have an opportunity to show they approve or don’t approve of pay packages. Votes are nonbinding, but companies sometimes act when there is clear disapproval from shareholders.

Petrello was the best-paid CEO largely because the board of directors of Nabors Industries wanted to end his previous contract. Under that contract, Petrello could have been owed huge cash bonuses, and the company could have paid out tens of millions of dollars if he were to die or become disabled. The board changed his contract following “say on pay” votes in 2012 and 2013 that showed shareholders were unhappy with how Nabors paid its executives.

There have been other signs of shareholder concern about CEO pay. This month, 75 percent of Chipotle Mexican Grill shareholders voted against a proposed pay package for co-CEOs Steve Ells and Montgomery Moran. Ells earned $25.1 million in 2013 while Moran earned $24.3 million, a 27 percent rise in compensation for each. Chipotle spent $49.5 million on CEO pay last year, the fourth-highest in the S&P 500.

“Companies are now taking the time to think through their pay practices and are talking more with shareholders,” said Hewitt of GMI Ratings. “There’s still a long way to go, but pay practices are getting better.”

To calculate a CEO’s pay package, the AP and Equilar looked at salary as well as perks, bonuses and stock and option awards, using the regulatory filings that companies file each year. Equilar looked at data from 337 companies that had filed their proxies by April 30. It includes CEOs who have been at the company for two years.

One prominent name not included in the data was Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who is typically one of the best-paid CEOs in the country.

Oracle files its salary paperwork later in the year, so Ellison was excluded in the 2013 survey data. He was awarded $76.9 million in stock options for Oracle’s fiscal year ending May 2013, according to proxy filings.

Among other findings:

∎ Female CEOs had a median pay package worth more than their male counterparts, $11.7 million versus $10.5 million for males. However, there were only 12 female CEOs in the AP/Equilar study compared with 325 male CEOs that were polled. TJX’s Meyrowitz was the best-paid female CEO in the AP/Equilar study. She earned $20.7 million last year.

∎ The CEO who got the biggest bump in compensation from 2012 to 2013 was Rodney Sacks, the CEO of Monster Beverage. Sacks earned $6.22 million last year, an increase of 679 percent. Monster’s board of directors awarded Sacks $5.3 million in stock options to supplement his $550,000 salary and $300,000 cash bonus.

CEO daily decisions hold in the balance 1000's of jobs - they deserve whatever they get to keep America working against the massive oppressive dictatorial democrat punitive govt.

...and Sandra Bullock got $70 million for Gravity. What is your point?

Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.