Median total compensation for chief executive officers in the United States
was higher in all industries in 2003, according to a study by the Conference
Total CEO compensation (salary, bonus, and long-term compensation) was highest
in the construction industry at $2,968,000. It was lowest in transportation
at $988,000. Total current compensation (salary plus bonus) was also highest
in construction at $2,445,000 and lowest in transportation at $646,000. Communications
paid the highest median salary, $648,000. Lowest was telecommunications, which
paid $405,000., according to the report
"There was generally good profit performance in 2003," says Charles
Peck, the board's compensation specialist and author of the report. "As
a result, annual bonus plans, which are based on profitability, paid off well
in many cases."
Stock-option grants declined in 2003, but restricted-stock grants, which are
often tied to performance, rose in 2003.
The report is based on data from 2,986 U.S. companies in 14 major industries
and reports the compensation paid to the five highest-paid executives.