Nike's Parker is 4th-highest-paid U.S. CEO

Nike's Parker is 4th-highest-paid U.S. CEO

BY BRANDON SAWYER | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

1012 CEOPay MarkParker
// Illustration By PJ Mcquade

Almost 50 years old, sports-apparel Goliath Nike remains at the top of its game. Fast Company named it the most innovative company of 2013 for its recent FuelBand and FlyKnit Racer technologies. Sports Illustrated listed founder Phil Knight as the ninth most powerful person in sports. In December, the company negotiated new tax incentives after hinting it might expand outside the state; a special legislative session was promptly assembled. Nike is also preparing a $150 million expansion and 500 job hiring-spree in Oregon. 

Best of all, 2012 revenue and net income soared to record highs of $24.1 billion and $2.2 billion, respectively.

So it's quite evident that CEO Mark Parker cannot only maintain but also advance the company, something that none of Knight's previous heirs could manage. And he's been richly rewarded, coming in fourth on a New York Times list compiled by Equilar of 2012's top-paid CEOs at U.S. public companies. He was only topped by Oracle's Larry Ellison (no. 1), HCA Healthcare's Richard Bracken and Walt Disney's Bob Iger.

Our 2012 CEO Pay Report last October showed that Parker's pay accounted for more than a third of total CEO pay at Oregon's 20 largest public companies. As I explained then, Parker earned more than $35 million last fiscal year, a 91% raise from 2011. 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. I noted that even during his recession, Nike's net income only declined once, in 2009.

Still, his pay was huge. So huge that I removed it from average CEO pay so it wouldn't skew the second chart below. This fall, we'll learn where his compensation stands for 2013. If Nike keeps up the momentum, Parker might get another raise.

CEOPay Graph

1012 CEOPay Graph PercentChangeInAverageCEO

1012 CEOPay Graph PercentChangeInMarkParker

Research editor Brandon Sawyer digs heaps of data about privately-held and public companies, economics and industries, and extracts relevant articles, graphs and lists, including the 100 Best Companies, Nonprofits and Green Companies to Work For in Oregon.