2012 CEO pay report

| Print |  Email
Articles - October 2012
Monday, September 24, 2012

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.

 



 

More Articles

10 Innovators in Rural Health

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Telemedicine, new partnerships and real estate diversification make health care more accessible in rural Oregon.


Read more...

Is there life beyond Reed?

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY GARY THILL | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

A storied institution climbs down from the ivory tower.


Read more...

Best Foot Forward

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE

Whether you're stepping out to work or onto the track, Pacific Northwest shoe companies have you covered.


Read more...

Farm in a Box

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Most of the food Americans consume is trucked in from hundreds of miles away. Eric Wilson, co-founder and CEO of Gro-volution, wants to change that. So this past spring, the Air Force veteran and former greenhouse manager started work on an alternative farming system he claims is more efficient than conventional agriculture, and also shortens the distance between the consumer and the farm.


Read more...

5 things to know about veterans in the workforce

The Latest
Wednesday, July 01, 2015
070215-vetsthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

There are more than 10 million former military members working in the United States.


Read more...

Ranking the airlines that fly PDX

The Latest
Friday, August 14, 2015
airlinesthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

17 airlines make stops at Portland International Airport, but not all are created equal when it comes to customer service.


Read more...

Unshakable

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY BRIAN LIBBY

Ben Kaiser holds his ground.


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