CEO Compensation Term Paper

Length: 2 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Business Type: Term Paper Paper: #12935087 Related Topics: Compensation Management, Pay For Performance, Equality
Excerpt from Term Paper :

¶ … seemingly outrageous salaries of many CEOs have sparked a great deal of debate. As CEO salaries reach 532 times that of the average worker, many people note that these exorbitant salaries seem to have little impact on CEO performance. In addition, high CEO salaries are morally suspect, as they are often decided by powerful figures, and reflect a clear economic and social division in a country that is founded upon principles of equality and democracy. Ultimately, typing CEO compensation to worker salary and worker stock options may prove a way to make CEO compensation more realistic and less morally suspect.

In the past decades CEO salaries have escalated enormously. In 1980, the average CEO mad 42 times the wage of the average worker. That figure rose to 85 times in 1990, but by 200, the average CE) made 531 times that average hourly worker's pay (Reh).

Statistics seem to show that CEO compensation is not justified by performance. For example, the total return to shareholders is often higher for companies with CEO compensation under 500,000 USD than for corporations with CEO compensation over that amount (Reh). The belief that...


Notes F. John Reh, "CEOs are paid too much. It has minimal effect on their performance. It has no quantifiable effect on the performance of their companies. The only measurable effect is to drive an ever widening gap between the CEOs and the people they depend on to produce results."

There are a number of moral considerations raised by the issue of high CEO compensation. First, it seems morally suspect to pay one individual at a rate that is astronomically higher than other individuals within the same company. This smacks of social stratification and an economic hierarchy that seemingly goes against the grain of the ideals of equality contained in the U.S. Constitution.

In addition, the fact that CEO salaries are set by a compensation committee that contains other chief executives almost exclusively is morally problematic. A CEO's performance impacts a wide number of individuals, from employees to stockholders, and yet these individuals have little say in the compensation of the CEO. This fact certainly seems at odds with the democratic principles held by many Americans. In essence, it hardly seems fair that those people who are most affected by a CEO's actions have the least amount of say in the CEO's remuneration.

Many corporations have tried to reduce some of these criticisms by tying CEO compensation to company performance. As such, corporations are given stock…

Sources Used in Documents:


Reh, F. John. CEOs Are Overpaid: CEOs are paid too much for what they do; too much more than their average worker. 12 May 2004.

Jones, Dell. CEO pay takes another hit. USA Today, Posted 3/9/2003 11:34 PM. 12 May 2004.

Cite this Document:

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