The Equilar 100 CEO Pay Study list of the highest-paid chief executives in the U.S. for 2013 was published in the New York Times. Topping the list was Oracle’s (ORCL) Larry Ellison, who was paid $78.4 million. Walt Disney (DIS) CEO Bob Iger was second, earning $34.3 million last year.
Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Aaron Task asked Breakout host Jeff Macke about whether the public should be outraged at those high salaries.
“It all depends on the CEO,” Macke said, offering up the example of Disney’s Iger as an executive who made positive changes for the company. “There is a justification for paying CEOs quite a bit of money when, as in the case of Mr. Iger, he saved hundreds of thousands of jobs worldwide and a national beloved brand,” he said.
Macke had a different take on the Oracle’s Ellison. “I’m not sure competing with Germany on the software sales front earns Mr. Ellison a lifetime of wealth, his heirs and everyone else named Ellison for a thousand years to come.”
Task noted that bank CEOs didn’t make the list’s top 10 earners. He asked Macke if some of the public outrage at bank industry salaries is misplaced. “Absolutely,” Macke replied. “I think it’s just a lack of imagination in terms of thinking who the real masters of the universe are.”
“[JP Morgan (JPM) CEO] Jamie Dimon relative to Larry Ellison is wildly underpaid.” Macke said. “Whatever you think of Jamie Dimon, he should not be making 1/7 of what Larry Ellison’s making for running a software company.”
“And neither one of them could carry Bob Iger’s Mickey Mouse ears when it comes to being a CEO in the first place,” Macke added.