The Strategist

WSJ: US CEOs earned 7% more in 2020

04/12/2021 - 03:31

The average annual pay received by CEOs of the largest publicly traded corporations in the US rose 7% last year to $13.7m.

These are the calculations of The Wall Street Journal, which analyzed the earnings of CEOs at more than 300 of the largest U.S. publicly traded companies. CEOs pay rose in 206 of 322 companies, it said.

The figures increased in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic difficulties. 

Salary cuts mostly did not affect top corporate executives, furthermore, even in those cases where CEOs announced freezes or even cuts in their salaries, it did not have a significant impact on their earnings. 

Salaries typically account for only about 10% of all payments received by CEOs, with bonuses and share awards accounting for the rest.

At the same time, as The Wall Street Journal notes, there are also a growing number of instances in which shareholders refuse to support company proposals on top-managers' salaries. For example, shareholders of the Starbucks coffee chain voted against it in March.