كـليـة إدارة الأعــمـال
College of Business Administration
Abdalaziz Saad Alamry
Research on “Is Executive Compensation Fair?”
Is Executive Compensation Fair?
Executive pay (also executive compensation), is financial compensation received by an officer of a firm. It is typically a mixture of salary, bonuses, shares of and/or call options on the company stock, benefits, and perquisites, ideally configured to take into account government regulations, tax law, the desires of the organization and the executive, and rewards for performance. Over the past three decades, executive pay has ...view middle of the document...
Bonuses are after-the-fact (not formula driven) and often discretionary. Executives may also be compensated with a mixture of cash and shares of the company which are almost always subject to vesting restrictions (a long-term incentive). To be considered a long-term incentive the measurement period must be in excess of one year (3–5 years is common). The vesting term refers to the period of time before the recipient has the right to transfer shares and realize value. Vesting can be based on time, performance or both. For example a CEO might get 1 million in cash, and 1 million in company shares (and share buy options used). Vesting can occur in two ways: "cliff vesting" (vesting occurring on one date), and "graded vesting" (which occurs over a period of time) and which maybe "uniform" (e.g. 20% of the options vest each year for 5 years) or "non-uniform" (e.g. 20%, 30% and 50% of the options vest each year for the next three years). Other components of an executive compensation package may include such perks as generous retirement plans, health insurance, a chauffered limousine, an executive jet, interest free loans for the purchase of housing, etc.
Levels of compensation
The levels of compensation in all countries has been rising dramatically over the past decades. Not only is it rising in absolute terms, but also in relative terms. In 2007, the world's highest paid chief executive officers and chief financial officers were American. They made 400 times more than average workers -- a gap 20 times bigger than it was in 1965. In 2010 the highest paid CEO was Viacom's Philippe P. Dauman at $84.5 million The U.S. has the world's highest CEO's compensation relative to manufacturing production workers. According to one 2005 estimate the U.S. ratio of CEO's to production worker pay is 39:1 compared to 31.8:1 in UK; 25.9:1 in Italy; 24.9:1 in New Zealand.
The explosion in executive pay has become controversial, criticized by not only leftists but conservative establishmentarians such as Ben Bernanke Peter Drucker, John Bogle, and Warren Buffet.
The idea that stock options and other alleged pay-for-performance are driven by economics has also been questioned. According to economist Paul Krugman,
"Today the idea that huge paychecks are part of a beneficial system in which executives are given an incentive to perform well has become something of a sick joke. A 2001 article in Fortune, "The Great CEO Pay Heist" encapsulated the cynicism: You might have expected it to go like this: The stock isn't moving, so the CEO shouldn't be rewarded. But it was actually the opposite: The stock isn't moving, so we've got to find some other basis for rewarding the CEO.` And the article quoted a somewhat repentant Michael Jensen [a theorist for stock option compensation]: `I've generally worried these guys weren't getting paid enough. But now even I'm troubled.'"
Defenders of high executive pay say that the global war for talent and the rise of private...