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Is CEO Pay Over the Top?

Richard M. Steinberg | June 23, 2015

In this recent proxy season we’ve seen headlines on CEO pay: “It’s (still) their party,” and “shareholder votes have done little to curb the festivities.” Pay packages have been called “supersized,” “outsized,” “piggish,” “outrageous,” “staggering,” and “embarrassing.”

How is this possible? Critics put forth a number of reasons:

  • Boards are too close to the company’s CEO, paying virtually anything he or she wants.
  • Compensation consultants advise compensation committees that, inasmuch as the board is successfully doing its job, then it must have selected a high-performing CEO, in which case the CEO must be ranked...
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