"BusinessWeek, which has tracked executive pay for half a century, figures that CEOs of the country's largest corporations last year were paid about 300 times the average factory worker. In Europe, in contrast, chief executive pay tops out at 30 times the average worker. Americans might defend this disparity by declaring that U.S. companies are better run, but are these companies more than 10 times better run?"
...Not when they're imploding their companies, they're not.
"What makes a “worst” CEO in the minds of so many investors and employees is not merely poor decision-making on the allocation of capital and other resources. Almost everyone can tolerate well-intentioned plans that go awry. Instead, it is the ugly way that CEOs have normalized the behavior of compensating themselves at increasingly more obscene levels -- often on the basis of self-set relative performance targets that fail to account for the absolute performance that matters most to all stakeholders: long-term corporate value as reflected in a higher stock price.
Massive payday for WellPoint execs
In Southern California, anger at CEOs has reached the boiling point over the recent discovery last week that the proposed purchase of local insurer WellPoint Health Networks by Indiana-based Anthem (ATH, news, msgs) could trigger $357 million in bonuses to WellPoint executives. Chief executive Leonard Schaeffer alone would pocket $37 million in cash, plus $45 million in pension rights. All this at a time when HMOs are increasing premiums due to the allegedly rising cost of health care.
Why did these guys believe they could get away with such a massive payday from a public company’s treasury at a time of soaring medical costs nationwide? The jackpot, buried deep in a 200-page proxy statement, was explained away by a WellPoint consultant at a hearing before state lawmakers with the comment that the pay package fell within industry norms."
...Hey! We don't need no steeenking regulations!