April 16, 2010
A chief executive officer of a Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 index company was paid, on average, $9.25 million in total compensation in 2009. At the same time, millions of workers lost their jobs, their homes and their retirement savings in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
Executive pay has taken center stage since the $700 billion government bailout of financial institutions. Americans expressed outrage as big banks helped create the financial crisis, took billions in taxpayer bailouts, paid out billions in pay and bonuses and are now lobbying on financial regulatory reform.
The case studies at Executive PayWatch focus on executive pay at six of the biggest banks that received government bailout funds and their multimillion-dollar lobbying efforts. Also in Executive PayWatch, you can find CEO compensation data for some of the country’s largest companies; learn how you, as a shareholder, can have your “Say-on-Pay“; and find out what you can do to ensure re-regulation of the financial system.
CEO Pay Database reveals wide income disparity in North Carolina
Take Susan M. Ivey, for example. She’s the CEO of Reynolds American and the person who refuses to meet with representatives of tobacco farm workers at FLOC. Last year, Susan Ivey made $16,442,578 – 513 times the average North Carolina worker’s pay, which was $32,048 in 2009.
Using the tools provided at Executive PayWatch, you can see how workers compare to Susan Ivey or any other CEO in North Carolina. To sustain what Susan Ivey makes in just one year, a minimum-wage worker would have to work until the year 3100. What Susan Ivey makes in just one year would pay the salary of 41 Presidents of the United States or 60 AFL-CIO presidents.
Why should any one CEO make 41 times as much as the leader of the free world? The average CEO pay in North Carolina is 100 times that of the average worker. What does that say about how we value work and value workers in our society?