America's Top CEOs Had a Nice Fat 2010

How nice? Their compensation jumped 27% to 40%
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2011 12:25 PM CST
America's Top CEOs Had a Nice Fat 2010
Aetna Chairman and CEO Ronald Williams retired this year, taking with him a $50.4 million payday; the company's stock declined 70% over Williams' six-year tenure.   (AP Photo/Bob Child, file)

(Newser) – Today, in Depressing Coincidences in Journalism, we're greeted with the news that nearly 50% of Americans are living below the poverty level or very close to it—and the news that America's top CEOs saw their 2010 pay jump a crazy 27% to 40%. The latter revelation comes via the Guardian, which reports on an exclusive review of data released by GMI Ratings, in a survey of 2,647 US companies. Among its findings:

story continues below

  • The biggest fatcat, John Hammergren, who helms healthcare firm McKesson, walked away with $145.3 million. (Oh, and there's more to come: If his company changes owners, he'll get a $469 million payoff.)
  • Four of the 10 highest-paid CEOs were retiring, including Aetna's Ronald Williams, who cashed in a $50.4 million payday. Williams watched Aetna's stock decline 70% in his six-year tenure.
  • Tally up the top 10 earners' pay, and you get $770 million.
  • All areas of compensation were up: salary, pensions, perks, etc.
  • One potential surprise: The top 10 contains zero bankers. Three hailed from the healthcare industry
  • The 2009 survey saw no such jump; compensation actually slightly declined for the third straight year.
(Read more executive compensation stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.