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|Articles - October 2012|
|Monday, September 24, 2012|
Page 1 of 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
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Which of the following would be most effective in reducing the cost of operating a public university in Oregon?
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Every once in a while we receive a letter in the (fictional) mailbag that is tough to describe and quite compelling. This week, Isabel, the new HR manager at LabCo (and someone who is new to HR), wants to know whether she may fire the owner’s son for having an Oregon medical marijuana card. In passing, Isabel also makes a number of alarming admissions about her motivation. Here is Isabel’s nerve-racking question and our response to it.
Oregon Sick Leave is here, and changes to the federal white-collar worker regulations are on the way. This workshop will prepare you for both. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to start planning now for the future impact on your operations and finances.
Presented by OEN + CENTRL + YESpdx.
This Roundtable will cover numerous issues under the employer "shared responsibility" rules of the Affordable Care Act, including how to track the "full-time" status of variable-hour employees, temporary or seasonal employees, and employees who experience a change in status or a break in service. Additionally, we will provide a brief overview of Code sections 6055 and 6056, which require most mid-sized and large employers to submit their first information reports to the IRS in early 2016 regarding the health insurance coverage being offered to employees. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to prepare for the future impact of the shared responsibility rules on your operations and finances.