Another big raise for CEOs

A man boards a private jet.

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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: CEOs at large US companies pocketed some hefty bonuses last year. Their median bonuses at 92 corporations: $2.2 million. The latest Watson Wyatt survey of executive compensation packages says there was a 50 percent increase in equity-based pay. John Dimsdale reports.


JOHN DIMSDALE: Bonuses can triple a top CEO's annual salary these days. And company stock options now represent 60 percent of the average pay package.

Watson Wyatt's Ira Kay says efforts to link pay to performance are working.

IRA KAY: The bonuses were highly correlated with the increase in earnings and the equity value was highly correlated with increases in total returns to shareholders.

But the AFL-CIO says CEO compensation has become too plush. The federation yesterday kicked off its Executive PayWatch website listing executive salary packages.

DAN PEDROTTY: This year's fundamental theme is that the rules of the game have been rigged to ensure that CEOs receive a perfect payday despite poor performance or stock option fraud.

The AFL-CIO's Dan Pedrotty hopes the website will drum up support for legislation giving shareholders a non-binding vote on CEO pay packages.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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