Sunday, June 22, 2008

Top CEOs Get Richer as Their Companies Tank

The rich are getting richer in the waning days of the Bush Administration.

A report published today in the Tulsa World finds that CEO pay in major U.S. companies continues to fatten wallets in the executive suites.

This was the case even in major companies that had a bad year. John Thain of Merrill Lynch, for example, racked up a 2007 pay package worth $83 million, even as the company had one of its worst years ever.

CBS isn't having an especially good year either, and yet CEO Les Moonves was awarded more than $67 million in compensation.

Or consider GM's Rich Wagoner, whose company has closed four plants recently due to falling sales. GM lost $39 billion in 2007, and the company's stock price dropped 19 percent.

Wagoner's pay, however, was up 64 percent, to nearly $16 million.

As we noted at the start, the rich get richer. Meanwhile, the men and women who work every day struggle with higher food and fuel prices, living paycheck to paycheck.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that something is wrong with this picture.

1 comment:

Dan Paden said...

I would certainly agree that something is wrong. Skyrocketing CEO pay would make sense if the stockholder's earnings were skyrocketing, too--but they aren't, at least not enough to justify some of these outlandish salaries.

The question is, is it the government's role to address that situation? Or the stockholder's? Personally, I can't help but think that if the stockholders want to throw their money away like that, it's their prerogative.