Income inequality is a growing problem in the United States. In cities across the country, the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer. Perhaps nowhere is the problem more apparent than in the corporate world. In some of the largest and most recognizable global companies, chief executives earn in less than an hour as much as their typical employee earns in an entire year.
MyLogIQ, a data aggregator of public companies, recently released a report comparing total CEO compensation to median employee compensation for companies on the S&P 500 index. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the report to identify the 13 companies where the CEO makes at least 1,000 times the salary of their typical employee.
These immense differences in compensation between CEOs and their typical employees in some cases are the product of extremely high CEO compensation — over $100 million in one case. More often, however, it is a combination of large CEO pay (the lowest is $8.8 million) and very low median employee annual pay, as many of these companies employ part-time or seasonal workers. Indeed, some of these companies rank among those that owe their employees a raise.
Unlike most American workers who are primarily paid through wages and salaries, CEOs of major public companies are often compensated largely through stock options and other incentives. This is largely due to a Clinton-era policy that limited the amount companies can deduct for CEO salary come tax time to $1 million. Stock options — which are often indicative of CEO performance — are not taxable, however, and as such, are often a preferred form of CEO compensation.
To identify the companies where CEOs make at least 1,000 more than the typical employee, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data compiled by MyLogIQ. MyLogIQ reviewed the 325 proxy statements filed by S&P 500 companies as of April 10, 2019 to obtain CEO and median employee compensation. Other corporate information, including annual profit for the most recent year, came from 10-K statements filed with the Securities and Exchange commission.