The recession may be in full swing but for CEO’s it appears most have escaped unscathed. In 2008 more U.S. chief executives got a raise instead of losing their jobs, according to an AFL-CIO survey released on Tuesday.
Wall Street may have been under the microscope this year with federal tax dollars bailing out major financial firms using the Troubled Asset Recovery Program. It seems though that the bail outs may have helped those at the top continue being on top of the pay check food chain.
The executive pay study of major companies by the AFL-CIO didn’t just use the amount of dollars on pay checks to calculate total pay. The total figures used included stock options granted to CEOs but not yet vested.
Vikram Pandit, Citigroup Inc CEO therefore made $38 million in 2008. Citigroup was one of the banks granted a huge portion of the bail out, $45 billion.
Yahoo Finance reports:
“When it comes to CEO pay, many companies continue to hew to the fiction of pay for performance,” said Daniel Pedrotty, director of the AFL-CIO’s Office of Investment.
The survey used data from 946 companies in the Russell 3000 index with 2008 information available. According to the results 480 executives were taking home more at the end of 2008 than at the beginning. 463 of the executives did take a cut in pay.
The median CEO salary rose 7% in 2008. It wasn’t all bad news for those who took a cut in pay. Compensation packages averaged $3.9 for those CEOs.
The AFL-CIO also launched a web site that shows how the CEOs of the US fare compared to their workers. After you check out the differences in pay you may want to try out the game feature on the site, Boot the CEO!