Yahoo Inc CEO Carol Bartz tops the list of the executives who were paid too much for running underperforming companies.
While Bartz who joined Yahoo in January 2009 received approximately 39 million dollars in 2009, Jha's compensation was about 3.77 million dollars in 2009.
San Francisco-based Glass Lewis that evaluated executive compensation at 25 overpaying companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index said that judging by many executives’ pay packages, it was hard to tell if there was a "global recession and financial crisis these past two years."
According to its report, titled as 'Pay Dirt, while the average CEO's pay in the S&P 500 declined in 2009, many executives continued to be paid extravagantly with little to no regard for corporate performance.
The average CEO compensation among the Overpaid 25 companies was 15.1 million dollars, compared to the average of 9.1 million dollars for all companies on the S&P 500 index.
The 25 companies that overpay executives gave their top five leaders 34.3 million dollars in average compensation, compared with 23.7 million dollars for all of the S&P 500, it said.
"As the global economy slumped during the past two years, executives at these companies... mostly operating in the energy, information technology and financial sectors – inexplicably continued paying their executives at levels similar to or exceeding previous years," it added.
Apparel firm Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Michael Jeffries at 38.5 million dollars in total compensation, Nabors Industries CEO Eugene Isenberg, who earned 38.2 million dollars and News Corp's Rupert Murdoch with a pay package of about 18 million dollars were among the other highest paid executives.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs was the lowest-paid CEO in the group of 25 most underpaid executives. Jobs earned an annual salary of only a dollar last year. Amazon.com's Jeff Bezos was also among the lowest-paid CEOs in the Underpaid 25 list.