In a survey of 751 CEOs published in October, the magazine found that 74 percent feared the consequences of an Obama presidency versus just 19 percent who worried about John McCain assuming the Oval Office. The surveyed executives feared that Obama's emphasis on big government and his plans to hike capital-gains taxes on big earners would stifle growth and job creation.
Death, taxes, and ceo pay hikes. Despite deteriorating economic conditions and expectations many companies would pay out less to top officers, chief executives at publicly traded companies of all sizes saw an increase in compensation last year, buoyed largely by gains from the exercise of stock options…
But the amounts executives actually took home last year don't jibe with the performance of the companies. Operating earnings of S&P 500 companies fell by 5.9% during the year, according to data from Standard & Poor's.
The total compensation figures measured by the Corporate Library include the value of exercised options, vesting of equity awards and changes in deferred compensation, in addition to salary and bonus. The overall rise in pay, Mr. Hodgson said, was driven by gains on stock options that executives cashed in last year…
Indeed, large company CEOs earned total pay packages with a median value of $12.2 million last year, with only about $3.8 million coming in the form of salary and bonus payments. The remaining $8.3 million in equity compensation is more than double the median $3.8 million paid to small-cap CEOs.
Some CEOs received much fatter raises last year: The Corporate Library found that 29 executives—including former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and Apple CEO Steve Jobs—received pay increases of 1,000% or more.
Mr. Jobs, who collected his customary salary of $1 last year, recorded $14.6 million in gains from exercising option awards. That was a 1.5 billion percent increase from 2006, the largest percentage increase for any executive in the study.
Ms. Whitman exercised about 5.7 million options at a profit of $117 million in 2007, her last full year as CEO. That's a 3,741% pay increase from 2006. (Ms. Whitman had not previously exercised any options, going back to eBay's first available proxy filing in 1999.)