July 6, 2011
Top executives at big U.S. companies saw their pay increase 23 percent from 2009 to 2010, according to a new survey commissioned by The New York Times. But besides the multimillion-dollar packages that include salary, bonuses and stock options, the brass also enjoys perks worth tens of thousands of dollars or more for everything from air travel to personal security, sports tickets, and even household expenses.
Despite the weak economy, median CEO pay at 200 top companies last year was $10.8 million, according the study done by Equilar, an executive compensation firm, for the Times. Nearly a quarter of S&P 1500 companies gave their CEOs a raise in 2009, in the midst of the economic downturn. But while many Americans struggle to find a job and the economy struggles to find its footing, the bosses are back to getting pampered.
Morningstar’s footnoted.com found some outrageous perks in its review of corporate proxy statements for this spring’s annual shareholder meetings.
They included a whopping $5.9 million for tickets to basketball games at Chesapeake Energy and $1.1 million in living and relocation expenses for Robert Flexon, who lasted only five months as chief executive of Foster Wheeler Corp. And it helps when the executive is the brand -- Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia pays some of Martha’s household expenses and her real estate management company maintains her properties.