CEO pay of the biggest US companies saw a sharp rebound in 2010, according to compensation consulting firm Equilar, in a study commission by New York Times.
The median compensation was $9.6 million, up 12 percent from 2009. This 2010 increase marks a turning point as pay fell in the two previous years.
Defenders of this increase say corporate profits are growing at a blistering pace. Moreover, the CEO pay increase was coming off of a two year decline.
However, critics counter that the increase in CEO compensation far outstrips the rise in worker wages, which rose just 2.1 percent in 2010, while millions of Americans remain unemployed. In addition, some of the highly-paid CEOs preside over companies that received substantial government help during the financial crisis.
The highest paid CEO in 2010 received $84.6 million. The highest paid CEO of a bank, Robert P. Kelly of BNY Mellon, received $19.4 million.
The list of top 10 highest paid CEOs is dominated by technology companies.
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