Saturday, July 03, 2004

CEO pay debate

Last year, CEOs of S&P 500 companies earned a median of 27.16 percent more in total C. than in 2002, according to a Corporate Library Study. CEOs earned a median annual C. of $2.3 million, and received an additional $2.3 million in restricted stocks or realized stock options.
"I can guarantee you, executive pay will not go down, in general," said Tom Wamberg, CEO of Clark Consulting, a C. consulting company based outside of Chicago.
"What we should be looking for is a company having a return on capital," Paul Hodgson, analyst of the study, said. "Simply put, if you invest something, you get a return in excess of what you've spent. But the measurement periods are too short in most schemes. I would concentrate on long-term stockholder value creation."
"Certainly there's a heightened sensitivity and awareness on the part of C. committees and their jobs and roles," Wamberg said. "Will (Sarbanes-Oxley) drive down EC? My read is nowhere near as much as the fact that not so many companies will be giving options because of the FASB regulations." The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was a good "symbolic gesture," said Matt Bloom, associate professor of management at the University of Notre Dame. Rest of article.
Personally I agree with Paul, that the key issue is in long-term value creation. Do you agree with me? Or do you agree with Tom (nothing will change anyway), or Matt (Regulation)? Or do you suggest another approach?