FleetCor Technologies CEO Ronald F. Clark was ranked the most ‘overpaid’ CEO in America in 2019 by a nonprofit that advocates for shareholders
As CEO compensation continues to balloon much faster than the rate of the average worker’s salary, more people are asking what merits such a big payday for the people at the top.
A new report lists the most ‘overpaid’ CEOs in America, compiled based on two factors: The first is a calculation of what a CEO’s pay should be based on total shareholder returns; and the second is the proportion of shareholders who voted to approve a top executive’s pay.
Topping the list for 2019 was Ronald F. Clark, CEO of FleetCor Technologies, Inc., with more than $52.6 million in compensation in 2018. He did not make the list last year.
In addition, Clark’s pay was approved of by just 14 percent of shareholders in FleetCor, a Norcross, Georgia-based company that provides fuel cards and workforce payment products and services.
Shareholder votes for CEO pay are nonbinding, but can influence a board’s action for future compensation, said Rosanna Landis Weaver, the head of the executive compensation program at As You Sow.
‘From the shareholder perspective, we believe that most people who own shares … really need long term sustainable performance, and too many of the metrics of CEO pay are short term focused,’ Weaver told DailyMail.com.
The organization also compared each CEO’s 2019 pay with that of the average worker for each company, finding that Clark’s made 1,517 times the $34,700 made by the median Fleetcor worker.
‘CEO pay in the United States is a broken system,’ Weaver said. ‘It’s a systemic problem among the S&P 500; the top CEOs are vastly overpaid in comparison with CEOs in other countries, in comparison with how shareholders have done and especially compared to average workers.’
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Oracle CEOs Safra Catz (left) and Mark V. Hurd (right) ranked second-most ‘overpaid’ CEOs in America in 2019, based on their 2018 compensation of $81.6 million
Hock Tan (left), CEO of Broadcom, Inc., ranked third on the list of most ‘overpaid’ CEOs, with $103.2 million in compensation in 2018. Dirk Van de Put (right), CEO of Mondelez International, made $42.4 million in 2018, with approval from 45 percent of shareholders
Mark V. Hurd and Safra Catz, the co-CEOs at Oracle Corp. ranked second on the list, with $81.6 million in compensation in 2018.
Hurd and Catz made $67.9 million in excess of what projected pay should have been based on shareholder returns – and 49 percent of shareholders approved their pay.
Their compensation last year was 907 times the $89,887 median pay for that company’s workers.
The duo has moved down from first place on the list in 2018, with a slightly higher $82 million in compensation in 2017.
Hock Tan, CEO of Broadcom, Inc., ranked third, with $103.2 million in compensation in 2018 – $86.9 million more than projected based on shareholder returns. The CEO’s pay was approved by 62 percent of shareholders. Median worker pay was not available.
In fourth place was Dirk Van de Put, CEO of Mondelez International, Inc., a Deerfield, Illinois-based food and beverage company.
Van de Put made $42.4 million in 2018, with approval from 45 percent of shareholders. His pay check was $28.8 million higher than projections based on shareholder returns – and 990 times the $42,893 median worker pay at Mondelez.
Stephen Wynn, of Wynn Resorts Ltd., came in fifth place on the list, with $34.5 million in compensation in 2018
Robert Iger (left), CEO of Disney, ranked sixth place with $36.3 million in compensation for 2018. W. Nicholas Howley (right), CEO of TransDigm Group, Inc., ranked seventh on the list of America’s most ‘overpaid’ CEOs. He made $61 million in 2018
Stephen Wynn, of Wynn Resorts Ltd., came in fifth place, with $34.5 million in compensation last year – $20.9 million in excess of projections based on shareholder returns. His pay was approved by 20 percent of shareholders, and was 777 times what the median worker was paid ($44,437).
Wynn moved up slightly from sixth place in 2018, despite his income dropping from $28.2 million in 2017.
Robert Iger, CEO of Disney, ranked sixth place with $36.3 million in compensation for 2018.
Iger’s pay was approved by 46 percent of shareholders, despite coming in $20.9 million in excess of projections based on shareholder returns. He made 787 times the $46,127 paid to median workers at Disney.
Iger moved up from twelfth place last year, based on his $43.9 million compensation in 2017.
In seventh place was W. Nicholas Howley, CEO of TransDigm Group, Inc., a manufacturer of aerospace components. Howley was paid $61 million in 2018 – 1,306 times the $46,127 median pay for the average worker at that company.
His compensation was also $46 million in excess of projections based on shareholder returns, with 64 percent of shareholders approving of his pay.
Brian Duperreault (left), CEO of AIG insurance corporation, had $43 million in compensation last year to rank eighth on the list of most ‘overpaid’ executives. Margaret H. Georgiadis (right), CEO of Mattel, Inc., ranked ninth, with compensation totaling $31.3 million in 2018
Next on the list was Brian Duperreault, CEO of AIG insurance corporation, with $43 million in compensation last year – $29.7 million in excess of projections based on shareholder returns.
Duperreault’s pay was approved by 62 percent of shareholders, and was 671 times the $64,186 median pay of AIG’s average worker.
Margaret H. Georgiadis, CEO of Mattel, Inc., ranked ninth, with compensation totaling $31.3 million in 2018 – $19.3 million in excess of predictions based on shareholder returns from the maker of Barbie.
Less than half (46 percent) of shareholders approved of Georgiadis’ pay.
E. Hunter Harrison, CEO of CSX Corp., ranked 10th most ‘overpaid’ CEO in America, with his 2018 compensation totaling $151.1 million
Rounding out the top 10 was E. Hunter Harrison, CEO of CSX Corp., a rail transportation and real estate holding company.
Harrison received $151.1 million in compensation last year – $136.4 million more than projected based on shareholder returns. A majority (78 percent) of shareholders approved of his pay, though Harrison makes 1,531 times the $98,697 median pay for the company’s average worker.
CEO pay has come under more scrutiny in recent years, particularly after a 2018 report finding that their average compensation rose by 17.6 percent to $18.9 million in 2017 – more than 58 times the 0.3 percent increase in pay that typical workers in those industries received.
The latest numbers mean CEOs earned $312 for every $1 earned by average workers, according to the analysis by Washington D.C.-based Economic Policy Institute.
The reason CEOs did so well in 2017 is largely because their pay generally corresponds with the overall stock market – and last year their rise in compensation was driven by stock awards and cashed-in stock options, not to changes in salaries or cash bonuses, according to EPI.
America’s 25 Most ‘Overpaid’ CEOs
This chart lists the 25 most ‘overpaid’ CEOs in America