The debate over CEO pay is decades long. Boards believe their chief executive officers have skills that cannot be replaced. Shareholders and workers believe that annual compensation, which can go into the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, can never be justified, mainly if the company’s workers are paid very little. (Here is a CEO who made 2,000 times more than his employees.)
Recently, shareholders have been able to vote on executive pay. However, these votes rarely succeed in changing pay. Investors and shareholders did have a small victory in 2017. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission began to require that CEO pay be compared to the median compensation of those who work at the companies they run. CEOs at many public corporations are paid hundreds of times more than their employees, based on these median figures. This information is put into filings made to the SEC.
Based on 2022 data provided so far for S&P 500 companies, according to AI-driven SEC data company MyLogIQ, David Goeckeler, the CEO at Western Digital, made 3,332 times the median pay of his workers. His pay was $32,137,338. The median pay of workers, some located overseas, was $9,644. Of Western Digital’s 62,500 employees, about 86% were located in Asia. That is not much of an excuse for the extraordinary pay package.
Western Digital’s stock has performed horribly over the past two years, which raises the question of why Goeckeler has been paid so well. Shares have fallen 52% over that period. Except for a few upticks, the drop has been steady. Goeckeler has a problem with Wall Street analysts as well. According to Yahoo! Finance, the recommendation rating for the stock is 2.5 out of a maximum of 5.
Goeckeler is an example of why, from time to time, the criticism of CEO pay grows louder.
Data provided by MyLogIQ, the AI-driven SEC database company.
Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor
Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.