A CEO speaks to reporters in New York, November 7, 2005. CEOs in the U.S. earned 262 times the pay of an average worker in 2005, the second-highest level in the 40 years for which there is data, a nonprofit think-tank said on Wednesday. (Chip East/Reuters)
Chief executive officers in the United States earned 262 times the
pay of an average worker in 2005, the second-highest level in the 40 years for
which there is data, a nonprofit think-tank said on Wednesday.
In fact, a CEO earned more in one workday than an average worker earned
in 52 weeks, said the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.
The typical worker's compensation averaged just under $42,000 for the year,
while the average CEO brought home almost $11 million, EPI said.
In recent years, compensation has been a hot issue with shareholders who have
been bombarded with news stories about chief executives who are given multimillion
dollar bonus and pay packages even if shares have declined.
For example, the chief executives of 11 of the largest companies were awarded
a total of $865 million in pay in the last two years, even as they presided
over a total loss of $640 billion in shareholder value, a recent study from
governance firm the Corporate Library, found.
In 1965, U.S. CEOs at major companies earned 24 times a worker's pay. That
ratio surged in the 1990s and hit 300 at the end of the recovery in 2000, according
CEO pay is defined by the sum of salary, bonus, value of restricted stock at
grant and other long-term incentives. Worker pay is hourly wage of production
and nonsupervisory works, EPI said.
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