Executive Watch

Payday At The Top

The great recession is becoming a distant memory, but its effect continue to be profound. Leaner organizations, tighter budgets, higher bars for new recruits, and the list goes on. However, executive pay bucks the more conservative post-recession trend. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that CEO compensation reached new highs following the surging stock market. The Journal tested 104 of the biggest American companies and found that their CEOs payday in 2016 rose 6.8% to an average of $11.5 million. The majority of the increases were attributable to awards of more restricted stock and options. In some respects this is not terribly surprising, but it does highlight the extraordinary compensation that is doled out to CEOs. This also raises the question of how does the rank-in-file of these companies fair on the compensation front. According to the Economic Policy Institute, of the largest firms in the US, CEOs earn an average of about 300 times more than their workers. This is much different than 50 years ago, when the ratio was closer to 20-to-1. The bottom-line is that while CEO compensation is scaling new heights, the majority of the increases are tied to company performance in the form of stock and options that will only payout if certain performance criteria are met.

By Anthony LoPinto | Executive Watch
Anthony LoPinto
Global Sector Head, Real Estate
Korn/Ferry International
Executive Bio

For more than a decade, Anthony LoPinto has been serving his clients with deep knowledge and perspective on talent needs and organizational challenges to public and private companies - knowledge gained from a 25-year career in real estate. Prior to his current position, he founded and served as chief executive officer of a boutique real estate executive search firm, where he oversaw offices in New York, Chicago, Washington, DC, San Francisco and Los Angeles. He has successfully led several high profile search engagements for chief executive officers, directors and a wide-range of executive level positions across all industries and sectors.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in European history from Loyola University in Chicago.

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