CEO pay: Sky high gets even higherA new report shows top-dog pay bites shareholders, and alleges war profiteering among some CEOs.
August 30, 2005: 12:24 PM EDT
By Jeanne Sahadi, CNN/Money senior writer
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) – If sky-high executive pay at publicly traded companies gives you vertigo, you might want to read this sitting down.
In 2004, the ratio of average CEO pay to the average pay of a production (i.e., non-management) worker was 431-to-1, up from 301-to-1 in 2003, according to "Executive Excess," an annual report released Tuesday by the liberal research groups United for a Fair Economy and the Institute for Policy Studies.
That's not the highest ever. In 2001, the ratio of CEO-to-worker pay hit a peak of 525-to-1.
Still, it's quite a leap year over year, and it ranks on the high end historically. In 1990, for instance, CEOs made about 107 times more than the average worker, while in 1982, the average CEO made only 42 times more.
The cumulative pay of the top 10 highest paid CEOs in the past 15 years totaled $11.7 billion.
And though the specific individuals in each of those annual top 10 lists changed year to year, many bosses did pretty well throughout the entire period. Citigroup's Sandy Weill, for example, has made $1.1 billion since 1990.