Daily Ticker

Chipotle co-CEOs can buy a TON of burritos but CVS is #1! The Excess Files

Aaron Task
Daily Ticker

A new survey by Payscale identifies CVS Caremark (CVS) as the #1 company in America!!...in terms of CEO-to-worker pay. CVS CEO Larry Merlo made just over $12 million in 2013. Now, $12 million isn't a ton by American CEO standards but it's more than 400 times the average CVS worker's pay.

Rounding out the Top 5 CEO-to-Worker Pay Ratio "winners" in the Fortune 100:

  • Goodyear's Richard Kramer at 323-to-1
  • Disney's Bob Iger at 283-to-1
  • 21st Century's Foxy Rupert Murdoch at 268-to-1 and...
  • Honeywell's David Cote at 211-to-1

Related: CEO pay: 'Unbelievably piggish and outrageous,' no matter how you slice it

Chipotle's (CMG) CEO didn't make the list but that's because there are two of them: co-CEOs Steve Ells and Montgomery F. Moran, college buddies who had a great idea to start a burrito business after a late night of umm...studying, each made about $25 million last year -- and more than $100 million apiece in stock awards since 2011, The NYT reports.

The pay sparked opposition at Chipotle's annual shareholder meeting on Thursday. Just 23% of shareholders approved the company's executive compensation plan after realizing that $150 million buys about 10 million steak burritos -- and that's with extra meat AND guacamole.

Related: The Excess Files: Mulally and Buffett and Souki...oh my!

Speaking of CEO pay, Abercrombie's (ANF) Michael Jeffries took a "massive pay cut" in 2013, the headlines screamed. Yes, Jeffries compensation fell a whopping 72% last year vs. 2012, but don't don't shed a tear for him: Jeffries still brought home $2.24 million in 2013 and has made nearly $60 million in the past three years.

Still, if Jeffries is looking to augment his income, he might want to follow Clarence Otis' example and sit on some boards. The chairman and CEO of Darden Restaurants (DRI) was paid nearly $538,000 last year for sitting on the boards of Verizon Communications and VF Corp., which makes Wrangler Jeans and North Face jackets.

Adding insult to injury, Otis used Darden's corporate jet to attend other companies board meetings -- a perk worth more than $67,000 in 2012, The NY Post reports.

In case you missed it, Bloomberg recently reported that "gone is the outrage at CEOs flying in high style that peaked during the recession." But shareholders are growingly increasingly frustrated with Otis and Darden, which on Friday announced the sale of its Red Lobster chain to Golden Gate Capital for $2.1 billion.

We like to say 'the truth is out there' here at The Excess Files and the dirty - and open - truth about CEO pay and outrageous perks is that they're set by boards of directors, which are typically filled with CEOs from other companies, leading to a mutually enriching cycle of 'you wash my back with diamond and gold infused soap made for the first lady of Qatar...and I'll hire a team of highly trained Geisha's to wash yours.'

Related: The Excess Files: Target's big pay-out, Apple backs up the truck, and college tours for the 1%

Aaron Task is the host of The Daily Ticker and Editor-in-Chief of Yahoo Finance. You can follow him on Twitter at @aarontask or email him at altask@yahoo.com.

Rates

View Comments (63)