CEOs Get Paid Big Bucks to Sit in Meetings, Eat Lunch

Study finds they spend a third of their time in meetings
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2012 11:58 AM CST
CEOs Get Paid Big Bucks to Sit in Meetings, Eat Lunch
Study finds CEOs spend a third of their time sitting in rooms like this.   (Shutterstock)

It's no big secret that CEOs can make completely ridiculous amounts of money; what is less obvious to some is what they do that's so darn valuable. A group of London School of Economics and Harvard Business School scholars decided to dig into one aspect of CEOs' work week, by taking a look at how more than 500 of them organize their time. In their study, the executives' personal assistants recorded any activity the CEOs did that was at least 15 minutes long. The big reveal: CEOs are rarely alone, and spend a lot of their time in meetings (about 1/3 of their week), at business meals (about 5 hours per week), and on the phone (3 hours).

Those stats apply to one sample of 65 CEOs, who worked an average of 55 hours a week. The group also spent work time doing things like: traveling, lunching with their spouse, or exercising. Total amount of time spent working alone? Six hours. If this is a big surprise to you, it's not for CEOs, who reported that managing employees and interacting with clients is one of their main responsibilities. But for any CEOs mourning the loss of alone time, the Wall Street Journal shares one interesting finding from the study: The CEOs of companies that also had a CFO or COO spent about 5.5 fewer hours in meetings each week. (Read more CEO stories.)

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