In 2010, Standard & Poor's 500 Index company CEOs received, on average, $11.4 million in total compensation, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) said in a report.
Corporate CEOs are literally hoarding their company’s cash—except when it comes to their own paychecks, AFL-CIO's Executive Paywatch report said.
According to the Federal Reserve, U.S. corporations held a record $1.93 trillion in cash on their balance sheets in 2010. But they are not investing to expand their companies, grow the real economy or create good middle-class jobs, the report says.
Based on 299 companies’ most recent pay data for 2010, the combined total of the chief executives amounted to $3.4 billion. This would be enough to support 102,325 middle income workers' jobs, the report says.
AFL-CIO is a voluntary federation of 56 national and international labor unions in the United States. It said it took data from Salary.com for the analysis.
According to the report, Viacom’s CEO Philippe P. Dauman took $84.5 million in 2010 in salaries, making him the highest paid in the list. Others to figure at the top of the list included Occidental Petroleum's CEO Ray R. Irani who earned $76 million and Oracle Corp.'s CEO Lawrence Ellison who earned $70 million.
The AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said the country is facing “runaway CEO pay.” “The disparity between CEO and workers’ pay has continued to grow to levels that are completely stunning,” Bloomberg quoted him as saying.
The report also says new consumer protection legislation will help shareholders keep watch on executives' remuneration. Fortunately, the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act contains new tools to help limit runaway CEO pay. Shareholders now have a “say-on-pay” vote on executive compensation, and companies must disclose the ratio of CEO-to-worker pay at each company.