- CEO’s of some of the American companies with the lowest-paid workers saw an average pay raise of 29% last year while their workers saw a 2% decrease.
- The compensation hike came as companies gave their top leaders hefty bonuses by forgiving performance benchmarks during the pandemic.
- The report urges support for a bill introduced by Bernie Sanders, called the Tax Excessive CEO Pay Act, which would incentivize companies to narrow the pay gap.
The Guardian writes:
“The millionaire chief executives of some of the American companies with the lowest-paid workers saw an average pay raise of 29% last year while their workers saw a 2% decrease, according to a report released Tuesday.
The Institute for Policy Studies calculated that the average CEO compensation in 2020 was $15.3m, when looking at the 100 companies with the lowest median wage for workers in the S&P 500 index.
The median worker pay was $28,187. This means that chief executives saw a 29% pay raise compared to 2019, while workers saw a 2% decrease. For all 100 companies, median worker pay was below $50,000 for 2020.
The compensation hike came as companies gave their top leaders hefty bonuses and forgiving performance benchmarks during the pandemic, allowing the top executives to cash in while their low-wage employees were essential workers.
Hilton’s CEO, Christopher Nassetta, had a compensation package worth $55.9m in 2020, the highest of the executives analyzed in the report, while median pay at the company was $28,608, down from $43,695 in 2019. Since the pandemic affected the company’s expected performance, and thus Nassetta’s expected compensation, the company’s board restructured its stock awards to give its CEO ample pay in 2020, according to the report.
Other CEOs were met with friendly treatment from their respective corporate boards. Chipotle’s board removed the company’s poor financial results from the peak of the shutdown and excluded Covid-related costs when calculating CEO Brian Niccol’s compensation. Niccol received $38m last year, which is 2,898 times more than the company’s median worker pay of $13,127…”
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