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|Articles - October 2012|
|Monday, September 24, 2012|
Page 2 of 3
Median pay for all 20 Oregon CEOs has remained less than a third of the S&P 500 CEO pay.
That median pay rose from $2.1 million in 2007 to $3.0 million in 2011. Equilar produces an annual S&P 500 CEO Pay Study, which shows that prior to the recession in 2007, median S&P 500 CEO pay was approximately $8.7 million. It fell the next two years; then, as stock markets recovered, it roared back to $9.6 million in 2011. Nike, Precision Castparts and FLIR are currently the only Oregon companies included in the S&P 500 index.
Nike CEO Mark Parker’s total pay was more than a third of the $103 million paid to our CEO group.
Parker earned more than $35 million for the year ended in May 2012. Two-thirds of Parker’s pay was stock awards, which could rise or fall in value by the time he can exercise them. He received no bonus and his salary was only $1.6 million.
Looking at Nike’s performance, net income only declined once, in 2009, and was at an all-time high of $2.2 billion for 2012. Nike’s stock price is also flying high, elevating the grant-date value of Parker’s equity.
CEO pay and company performance seesawed wildly during the past five years‚ mostly in synch‚ but sometimes not.
Nationally, S&P 500 CEOs saw their median compensation decline in 2009, then rise the next two years, roughly in line with company net income, which shifted higher and lower than pay.
Likewise, average CEO pay for the top 19 companies in Oregon (excluding Nike) fell in 2009, then rose the next two years, increasing an average of 11% per year. Company net income followed the same — more extreme — pattern but only rose an average of 2% per year.
Individual companies, though, often strayed from company earnings. Parker’s percentage change in pay rose three times as high as net income in 2010, fell in 2011 when earnings continued to grow, then shot up 219% in 2012, while net income grew just 4%.
As a share of pay‚ salary has been in retreat for decades.
Don Lindner, executive compensation practice leader for WorldatWork, a nonprofit association focused on compensation education, says that base pay used to comprise about 50% to 60% of CEO compensation until the 1980s.
Then came IRS Section 162(m) in 1992, stipulating that corporations could deduct no more than $1 million of executives’ non-performance pay. To avoid tax liability, annual bonuses rose dramatically, says Lindner, and mega-grants of stock and options were invented, raising the prominence of equity awards. Regulators effectively had placed a limit on salary, but the unintended consequence was to rapidly increase total compensation, albeit in a leveraged form.
Among Oregon’s top 20 CEOs, average salary grew 5% per year since 2007, but as a share of total compensation it declined from 22% in 2007 to 14% in 2011. Salary accounted for just 10% of the S&P 500 CEOs’ 2011 pay. This decline of salary’s share is exacerbated by rising equity awards — much riskier and less liquid than cash.
“To replace base pay, which is a sure thing, with at-risk pay like options, you have to give them a whole bunch more [stock and options], because they’re worth less,” says Lindner.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Remember the naysayers? Those who called the South Waterfront aerial tram a boondoggle? Those who rejoiced at the massive sell off of luxury condos at the John Ross and Atwater Place?
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Scott Kveton, the CEO of Urban Airship is taking a leave of absence from the company. As the story continues to unfold, here’s our perspective on a few of the key players.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
BY MARY SPILDE | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Faced with the aftermath of the “great recession,” increasing concern about the environment and dwindling family wage jobs, we have some very important choices to make about our future.
Monday, July 07, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
Named after the 2010 experiment by Thomas Ryan, "Robin Sages" are fake social media profiles designed to encourage linking and divulging valuable information.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
BY MONICA ENAND | GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Nine tips for building habits among employees to respond when needed.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment.
Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.
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