Executive Pay

July 11, 1997 • Volume 7, Issue 26
Do CEOs get paid too much?
By Charles S. Clark


(Illustration: Sarah M. Magner, Congressional Quarterly) (Illustration: Sarah M. Magner, Congressional Quarterly)

Every spring, news accounts of eye-poppingcorporate paychecks raise protests against “greed” and “excess.” This year's lists of the highest paid chieftains contain familiar entries from companies such as Heinz and GE, but also some newcomers, such as Lawrence Coss of Green Tree Financial, who pocketed $102 million. The difference in today's climate is that new government and industry disclosure rules have prompted many critics to conclude that CEO pay is now more properly linked to actual performance. And the complaints often heard from unions, religious activists and institutional share holders have been muted by the booming stockmarket, which is enriching shareholders and executives alike. A truer test of the system's fairness, however, may come with the next economic downturn.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Corporate Salaries
Mar. 09, 2007  Curbing CEO Pay
Jul. 11, 1997  Executive Pay
May 29, 1992  Fairness in Salaries
Sep. 10, 1935  Control of Corporate Salaries