CEO Pay: Out of Control?

From the 2006 Career Chaos archives comes this post on CEO pay. Hmm, as much as we all talk about "change," I can't help but wonder how much this issue has changed in the past four years.

Coaching executives on managing their careers, I hear from those who pledge their lives to their companies, working long hours for barely a six-figure income. I ask them, "Is it worth it?" And they reply," What else can I do?"

I couldn't believe my eyes when I recently read an article in Business 2.0, "Ending CEO Pay Envy."I had no idea that CEOs in the U.S. earn "more than 170 times the average worker's pay."In Great Britain, the article continued, "that multiplier is just 22." So what's up with that? (BTW, CEOs earned only 40 times more in the 1970s – only…)

More stats from the article:

  • The median salary for CEOs of the 100 largest U.S. companies hit $17.9 million in 2005 – a 25% jump over 2004
  • U.S. workers got a 3% raise in 2005

What's the author's solution to the problem? He advocates that everyone stops writing about it as it just fuels the fires. If not discussed, the CEO pay pendulum will stop swinging and move back to its balanced state. Really? No, seriously, really?

So, think about this picture as you fire up your laptop at your son's next Little League game. Do you think you can become one of the CEOs in the out-of-this-world income levels? How many times have you won the lottery lately?

Who would like to comment on what the CEO pay rate is today in 2010 compared to the average worker's?

Wishing you career success in 2010!


3 thoughts on “CEO Pay: Out of Control?”

  1. Does anyone ever stop and think about how these CEO’s had an idea in their heads and totally went for it and have created something amazing?
    Let’s say there’s a CEO that over time has created a company that employs 2,500 people. There is surely a wide range of pay scales for the various employees. Some maybe close to minimum wage, many making five digit incomes, and then others making six figure incomes. But at the end of the day these people will work for the said company for hopefully many years and in that time you must consider the standard of living that is directly related to the idea that was successfully thought out and grown by a CEO. All the college tuition money saved for an employees children, all the families birthday gifts and holiday expenses. All of the combined healthcare coverage…. the list could go on forever.
    The above only talks about the direct positives for employees. Next consider the amount of goods and services delivered to a CEO’s company’s customers!
    Needless to say most people are not grateful for what they have, and should stop and think that yes, while life isn’t always fair be happy for what they have. If is wasn’t for a CEO coming up with a great idea and working hard to make it successful, there’s a good chance much of what that person has wouldn’t be possible in the first place.


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