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April 11, 2007
CEO Pay Rises as More Companies Link Compensation with Performance

Median total cash compensation (base pay and bonuses) for chief executive officers rose from $2.4 million in 2005 to $2.6 million in 2006, according to a survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting.

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In analyzing the proxy statements of 350 large US companies, the firm found that the median change in CEO total direct compensation (salary, bonus, and long-term incentives) was 8.9 percent over the same period. The base salary of CEOs increased from a median $975,000 in 2004 and 2005 to a median $995,000 in 2006.

Corporate profits rose more than 14 percent over the same period.

The survey, which was published in the Wall Street Journal , found that more companies are granting shares that are earned only if performance goals are met. The number of CEOs receiving such performance shares increased from 111 in 2005 to 178 in 2006. The survey also found that fewer CEOs received stock-option grants in 2006 than in 2005.

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