For a minute there it looked like pay increases for top CEOs had slipped from obscene to simply stunning. But we can all relax. The New York Times reports that the pay boosts are back to being obscene.
Oracle’s Larry Ellison is a chart-topper again, not that a guy like Ellison would be keeping score. OK, he is. On a daily basis, probably. The skipper hauled in $96.2 million in 2012, according to a study that executive compensation expert Equilar conducted for the Times.
The haul represented a 24 percent pay raise for Ellison, who has been, after all, a long-term employee. And it’s not like Ellison isn’t willing to share. The Times points out that if Ellison’s two top lieutenants, Safra Catz and Mark Hurd, had been included in the study, they would have scored in the top 5 on the pay list.
Ka-ching. I guess you could say Hurd, who like Catz made $52 million, landed on his feet (no doubt in a nice pair of loafers) after having been deposed over at Hewlett Packard.
Anyway, the big picture here is that CEOs working for companies with more than $1 billion in revenue saw raises of 16 percent, making an average of $15.1 million, according to the Times. That looks a lot better, the newspaper pointed out, than when the Times checked in in April and found the increase was only 2.8 percent.
The story also raises some good questions about aligning executive compensation with a company’s record on innovation and timing bonus payments in such a way that shareholders actually have seen (or not) their rewards, before CEOs are given huge stock grants that anticipate good performance.
Well worth a read.