Home Back Issues October 2012 2012 CEO pay report

2012 CEO pay report

| Print |  Email
Articles - October 2012
Monday, September 24, 2012
Article Index
2012 CEO pay report
Page 2
Page 3

BY BRANDON SAWYER

CEO pay has often been the target of public outrage, but especially in the past five years amid layoffs, high unemployment and weak stock prices. CEO pay also has long been the target of board of directors’ executive compensation committees that fine-tune these pay programs in order to retain competent leaders. The compensation of public-company CEOs has changed dramatically over the past 20 years, shaped by government policy and boards with more independent directors, as well as efforts to connect it with shareholder return. Public companies must disclose more about executive pay than ever before, and while total CEO compensation has reached new heights, its value has become increasingly volatile and dominated by at-risk pay.

To see how executive pay has played out in Oregon, we analyzed the 20 public companies with the biggest market caps as of July 2012 that also had the same CEO for the past five years. (Lithia and Cascade Bancorp changed CEOs this year.)

Of our 20 CEOs, 17 earned more last year than they did before the recession, but eight of the companies they led were less profitable, including Cascade Bancorp, Columbia Sportswear, ESI, Greenbrier, NW Natural, Pacific Continental Bank, Schnitzer Steel and StanCorp. Only three CEOs — Raymond Davis of Umpqua Bank, Robert Warren Jr. of Cascade Corp. and Robert Sznewajs of West Coast Bancorp — earned less than five years ago.

The design of CEO compensation increasingly aims at long-term company performance and shareholder return with a greater proportion of equity and deferred compensation, the ultimate value of which is impossible to predict. Examining their pay as a whole has become less meaningful than an inventory of the components, such as salary.

Three companies that would have made our list of the top 20 because of market-cap size — Blount International, Lattice Semiconductor and Rentrak — were excluded because their CEOs changed in the turbulence of the past five years. Aaron Boyd, director of research at Equilar, says CEO turnover nationally spiked in 2008 and 2009.

“There’s less job security,” Boyd says. “You’re much more likely to take the blame when things go wrong and to get ousted, and have a shorter leash than a rank-and-file person.”

For this story, we analyzed the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission’s Edgar system for Oregon CEO pay and company financials; Equilar for information on S&P 500 CEOs; MarketWatch BigCharts for historical stock prices; and the Conference Board for proxy-voting data. Here is what we found.

 

ILLUSTRATIONS BY PJ MCQUADE 



 

More Articles

Car ignition recalls and lean product design

Contributed Blogs
Friday, April 11, 2014
04.11.14 thumb gm-gettyTOM COX | OB BLOGGER

The auto industry is starting to share more costs across manufacturers for complex and challenging design work, like new transmission design, and certain new engine technologies. What we’re not yet seeing is wholesale outsourcing of “unavoidable waste” components to specialist companies.


Read more...

Green eyeshades in the ivory tower

News
Friday, April 04, 2014
EducationCosts BlogBY ERIC FRUITS

The rapidly rising cost of higher education has left even the smartest researchers and the wonkiest of wonks wondering what’s happening and where’s all that money going. More and more, prospective students—and their families—are asking: Is college worth the cost?


Read more...

How to boost web traffic

News
Thursday, April 10, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY  | OB WEB EDITOR

04.10.14 thumb seo-trafficSEMpdx hosted a workshop this week for entrepreneurs, website developers and others interested in search engine optimization (SEO).  Here are a few tips and tricks aimed at bumping up your search engine rankings.


Read more...

Green your workplace

News
Thursday, April 03, 2014
100Green14logo200oxBY OB STAFF

Learn how to green your workplace and lower your environmental footprint at the office. Oregon Business presents a two-hour "Greening Your Workplace" seminar on May 28th, 2014 at the Nines Hotel in Portland.


Read more...

Are millennials reshaping politics in the Pacific Northwest?

News
Wednesday, April 02, 2014

MillennialsThumbA new report explores the impact of millennials on Oregon's business and political climate.


Read more...

Powerlist: Meeting perspectives

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BY BRANDON SAWYER

A conversation about the event-planning industry with sales directors from McMenamins and the Portland Art Museum. 


Read more...

The solution to youth unemployment

News
Thursday, February 27, 2014
02.27.14 Thumbnail TeenworkBY ERIC FRUITS

Because they have little chance of working for someone else, today’s teens need to be entrepreneurs. But, first, we must teach our teens that entrepreneurship starts small.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS