The good times are rolling for the top executives at major companies like Viacom, Occidental Petroleum and Oracle.
Last year, the average pay for executives at 200 top companies like those increased nearly 12%, according to a report in The New York Times.
Which CEOs had some of the biggest paydays in 2010?
- Philippe Dauman of Viacom, who made $84.5 million
- Ray Irani of Occidental Petroleum, who made $76.1 million
- Lawrence Ellison of Oracle, who made $70.1 million
- John Lundgren of Stanley Black & Decker, who made $32.57 million
- David Farr of Emerson Electric who made $22.9 million, and
- Alan Mulally of Ford Motor Co., who made $26.5 million.
The bulk of their pay came in the form of large stock awards, which were bolstered by recent market recoveries.
Those figures came from a study by Equilar, a compensation consulting company.
Workers say they deserve more
While top execs are cashing in on recent economic recoveries, a large chunk of American workers think they’re being shortchanged, reported The Wall Street Journal.
A recent survey of 1,044 U.S. workers by Kenexa Crop., an HR firm, revealed that 37% of Americans think they’re underpaid. A scant 2% said they’re overpaid.
The Northeast appears to be the hot spot for those clamoring for higher pay. Nearly 42% of workers in the Northeast thought they were underpaid, compared with 32% in the Midwest.
Finance pros think that’s because the cost of living is higher in the Northeast.
Also revealed: More women (43%) appear to be unhappy with their pay than men (33%).
Do you think execs are paid too much and some of that money should trickle down to the average worker? Share your opinions in the Reply box below.
Sources: “The Drought Is Over (at Least for C.E.O.’s),” Daniel Costello, The New York Times, 4/9/11 and “Women, Northeasterners Would Like More Pay,” by Joe Light, The Wall Street Journal, 4/11/11.