Let's Outsource Our CEOs
Matthew Yglesias on the wild, and arbitrary, differences in CEO pay
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jul 2, 2013 1:21 PM CDT
Why are American CEOs paid so much more than German ones, again?   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – It's not exactly breaking news that CEOs make a ton of money. But as Matthew Yglesias at Slate looked through a new database of CEO pay, he also noticed that CEOs' paydays are incredibly arbitrary; there's "certainly no clear link to corporate performance." But there are some constants, like this fascinating one: American CEOs get paid wildly more than their counterparts overseas. Chevron CEO John Watson, for instance, makes $22.3 million, while the head of a similarly sized French oil giant makes only $3 million.

American CEOs argue that their pay should be compared to other American CEOs, which is fine by most American boards, "which—conveniently enough—are made up primarily of American corporate executives. … Which is all quite nice, but if you tried convincing one of these very same executives that he shouldn't replace an American factory worker with a cheaper Chinese one, he would laugh you out of the room." CEO pay is a sea of "nonsensical gaps," with compensation chugging ever higher. This should worry us, writes Yglesias. Click for his full column, which specially zeroes in on media CEOs.

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Showing 3 of 20 comments
Chatsworth
Jul 3, 2013 7:06 PM CDT
These way overpaid CEO's are just part of what will cause a major Marxist style revolution happen in the US.don't get me wrong, I'm not a communist,but if you study the Marxist model of capitalism,you see an eerie resemblance to our country and it's economic problems.
Winston_Smith
Jul 3, 2013 11:29 AM CDT
This kind of self-dealing is pretty much the norm nowadays, compensation is just the visible tip of the iceberg.
Toon
Jul 2, 2013 2:41 PM CDT
What's interesting is that many CEOs have peer benchmarking clauses. That is they are guaranteed that next year's pay will be higher than the average wage that CEO's got this year. And because so many of them have this clause every year's average is going to be higher than the previous year's. it doesn't matter how well they do their job or how well the company does, they are getting a raise because other CEOs got a raise last year. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/cozy-relationships-and-peer-benchmarking-send-ceos-pay-soaring/2011/09/22/gIQAgq8NJL_print.html