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  • skeptically74 skeptically74 May 3, 2012 8:42 PM Flag

    CEOs enjoy 15% pay rise


    American CEOs enjoy 15% pay rise in second year of double-digit hikes

    Boom time for America's top bosses in 2011 contrasts with wider economy, where average wages have been little better than flat
    Dominic Rushe in New York, Wednesday 2 May 2012 13.17 EDT

    America's top bosses have handed themselves double-digit pay rises for the second year in a row, according to interim figures from the most comprehensive survey of CEO pay.

    The Guardian's exclusive first look at the research by GMI Ratings reveals that rising share prices helped drive a 15% pay hike for the average US CEO in 2011, with the average compensation package hitting $5.8m.

    It comes on the back of a 28% pay rise the year before. The two years of double-digit growth follow two years of decline in 2008 and 2009.

    The boom time for chief executives contrasts sharply with the wider economy, where average wages have been little better than flat. A compensation survey by Mercer found US employers planned average increase in base pay of 3% in 2012. Inflation is about 2.7%.

    Last year, the census bureau reported that the income of the typical American family had dropped for the third year in a row. The median family income in 2010 was $49.445, 7.1% below its 1999 peak and when adjusted for inflation roughly at levels last seen in 1996.

    The news comes as shareholders have begun to challenge outsized pay deals. Last month, Citigroup shareholders voted against the bank's plans to award chief executive Vikram Pandit $14.9m in compensation, including his first bonus since the bank's near-collapse in 2007.

    GMI's half-year report looked at the 2011 pay deals for CEOs at 817 companies. The full analysis of 3,000 firms will be available at the end of the year, so it is still to early to tell exactly how lucrative 2011 was, but the interim figures suggest another golden year for top bosses.

    The survey also found:

    • CEOs in the top 500 companies, enjoyed, on average, total realised compensation of $12.1m

    • Annual salary has risen just 3% this year on average compared to 18% last year. But compensation from share schemes has soared.

    • The 10 highest paid CEOs made about 78% of their compensation through stock options and other share sales.

    • The highest paid CEO so far is Michael Johnson of direct marketing firm Herbalife, who raked in $89,419,474 in 2011.

    • Three of the 10 highest paid CEOs thus far in 2012 are from the software industry.

    con't ........

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