Median CEO Pay Just Topped $10M for the First Time

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 27 2014 6:33 PM

Median CEO Pay Just Topped $10M for the First Time

170526478-an-employee-counts-usd-notes-at-a-money-change-outlet
Direct deposit is probably the way to go for today's CEOs.

Photo by BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images

A report by the Associated Press on Tuesday was a good reminder: It’s good to be king. But being CEO probably pays better. According to the AP’s math, median chief executive pay among companies listed in Standard & Poor's 500 reached an astonishing new high in 2013—weighing in at a whopping $10.5 million.

For a littler perspective, that’s up nearly 9 percent from 2012, which is small potatoes compared to the explosion in pay over the past four years. Since a dip during the Great Recession, CEO median pay is up 50 percent during the less-Great Recovery. “A chief executive now makes about 257 times the average worker's salary, up sharply from 181 times in 2009,” according to the AP.

Advertisement

Here’s more from the AP report on why you should have been CEO and how the median salaries stretched into eight-figure territory last year.

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…
The highest paid CEO was Anthony Petrello of oilfield-services company Nabors Industries, who made $68.3 million in 2013. The second-highest paid CEO among companies in the S&P 500 was Leslie Moonves of CBS. Moonves' total compensation rose 9 percent to $65.6 million in 2013, a year when the company's stock rose nearly 70 percent.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

There Are New Abuse Allegations Against Adrian Peterson

After This Merger, One Company Could Control One-Third of the Planet's Beer Sales

John Oliver Pleads for Scotland to Stay With the U.K.

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

Jurisprudence

Don’t Expect Adrian Peterson to Go to Prison

In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal. 

The Juice

Ford’s Big Gamble

It’s completely transforming America’s best-selling vehicle.

I Tried to Write an Honest Profile of One of Bollywood’s Biggest Stars. It Didn’t Go Well.

Here’s Why College Women Don’t Take Rape Allegations to the Police

The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 1:51 PM Here’s Why College Women Don’t Take Rape Allegations to the Police
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 15 2014 8:56 PM The Benghazi Whistleblower Who Might Have Revealed a Massive Scandal on his Poetry Blog
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 15 2014 7:27 PM Could IUDs Be the Next Great Weapon in the Battle Against Poverty?
  Life
Outward
Sept. 15 2014 4:38 PM What Is Straight Ice Cream?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 15 2014 11:38 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 4  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Listen."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 15 2014 8:58 PM Lorde Does an Excellent Cover of Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights”
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 15 2014 4:49 PM Cheetah Robot Is Now Wireless and Gallivanting on MIT’s Campus
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 15 2014 11:00 AM The Comet and the Cosmic Beehive
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.