American CEOs package jumps 28% in 2010: Equilar

American CEOs package jumps 28% in 2010: Equilar

The average compensation for S&P 500 CEOs was about USD 9 million, up from around USD 7 million in 2009, while, the median bonus payouts for these CEOs rose by 43.3 per cent to USD 2.15 million in 2010, the Equilar study said.

Meanwhile, around 85.1 per cent CEOs received an annual bonus payout in 2010, compared to 73.6 per cent in 2009.

An industry-wise analysis shows that basic materials CEOs received the most compensation, with an average pay of USD 9.9 million in 2010.

However, median total CEO compensation at technology and financial firms saw the largest growth from 2009 to 2010, increasing 60.5 per cent and 31.3 per cent, respectively.

Meanwhile, the total pay at healthcare firms grew the least, increasing from USD 9.2 million in 2009 to USD 9.7 million in 2010. Chief executives in this industry had the second-highest overall pay in 2010.

In this analysis, the total compensation includes base salary, annual and long-term cash bonus payouts, the date value of stock and option awards made during the year, and all other compensation, Equilar said.

For fiscal 2010, salary grew by at least 5 per cent, bonus by 43.3 per cent, followed by stock 39.4 per cent, options 16.4 per cent and others 13.1 per cent.

Equilar's analysis of S&P 500 CEO compensation was based on the recently filed proxy data for 303 chief executives at 302 companies that had CEOs in place for at least two full years.

Comparing the CEO to the other four Named Executive Officers (NEOs), Equilar said the median CEO is making 2.4 times the USD 3,645,020 median pay of the second-highest-paid executive.

"The pay given to a chief executive usually sets the pace for other executives at his or her firm," Equilar said.