The United States, according to World Bank estimates, has some of the worst income inequality in the developed world. And in recent years, the problem only appears to be getting worse.
In addition to a range of macroeconomic causes, including globalization, deregulation, and the decline of workers’ unions, exorbitant executive compensation packages are also partially to blame for the growing inequality. A recent report released by the Economic Policy Institute, a non-partisan think tank, found that the average CEO pay at the 350 largest U.S. companies climbed by over 1,000% in the last 40 years. Meanwhile, wages for the average worker climbed by less than 12.0%.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed CEO compensation for the 2018 fiscal year from Equilar, a corporate data firm, to identify the 25 highest paid CEOs of the year. CEO compensation includes salary and any bonuses, stock and options grants, and benefits. Only CEOs who still hold their position were included in our analysis. We also considered company revenue for the most recent available fiscal year from financial disclosure statements filed with the SEC.
The annual compensation of the chief executives on this list ranges from $28.4 million to a staggering $2.3 billion. More often than not, the amount the CEO took home last year is hundreds and even thousands of times the salaries of their typical employee. Here is a list of CEOs who make 1,000 times more than their employees.
To contrast CEO pay with the average worker’s salary is not to suggest that many chief executives are not worthy of higher pay. Being the highest ranking executive in a company means making major corporate decisions, managing resources and operations while also being a public figurehead — all of which can have profound implications, particularly at some of the world’s most valuable companies, like those on this list. These are the 100 most valuable brands in the world.
The multimillion and billion dollar compensation packages on this list beg the question, how much is too much?