We know CEOs have it good ... but this good? The New York Times had executive pay data firm Equilar analyze bigwigs' 2010 compensation, and what Equilar found wasn't just a gain. It was a big, big gain: a 23% boost over 2009, with the median pay for chief executives at 200 large companies clocking in at $10.8 million. That's not back to where it was pre-recession, but, as the Times notes, it definitely seems headed in that direction.
As for what's behind the jump, Equilar found that cash bonuses were resurrected by many firms, and were up 38% over the year prior. Some of the increase could be "makeup pay," too, with corporate boards deciding to be more generous to execs who weathered the leaner years. Still, that 23% raise dwarfs the median gain in both shareholders' total return (16%) and revenue (7%). Atop the money-making heap sits Philippe Dauman, Viacom, $84.5 million; Leslie Moonves, CBS, $56.9 million; Brian Roberts, Comcast, $28 million; Gregg Steinhafel, Target, $23.5 million. Compare their pay to that of the average American worker, who made $752 a week at the end of last year, a gain of just 0.5% from a year earlier. (Read more executive pay stories.)