CEO pay: how much is enough?


We have a problem in the United States, a destructive problem of gross inequality that is unlike any other developed economy and perhaps as bad or worse than so-called third-world economies.  Chief executive officers at large companies earn a multiple of 300-times or more than what the average worker earns — meantime unemployment remains high, and companies continue to guard margins by, among other things, reducing or limiting their overhead. We cannot blame companies for being cost conscious, but there is a fundamental fallacy when at the same time executive pay shows no sign of slowing. As a coauthor of the United States Proxy Exchange’s just-released “Draft Guidelines for Say-on-Pay Voting,” (PDF document) I kindly ask that readers review our report and provide comment. In fact, we have prepared our report as a request for comment in the hope that the feedback received will allow us to provide final guidelines. The USPX is a grassroots organization whose mission is to facilitate shareowner rights. Say-on-pay, as imperfect as it is, represents an opportunity to send a message to executives and board directors.