REDWOOD CITY, CA (April 12, 2017) — After seeing more modest gains than previous years in 2015, CEO pay appears to be trending upwards yet again. Among CEOs in the Equilar 100, total compensation increased a median 6% in fiscal year 2016. Median pay for these executives was $15.0 million, and the average totaled $16.6 million.
Each year, the Equilar 100 examines CEO pay at the largest companies by revenue to file before April 1. This annual early look at proxy season data provides a bellwether for trends in CEO pay overall, as more than 1,500 public companies will submit their proxy statements in April to meet the filing deadline for companies with a December fiscal year end.
“This year’s increase in CEO pay was the largest acceleration we’ve seen for this study since 2013,” said Dan Marcec, Director of Content at Equilar. “While most of these awards were granted well before the presidential election, the bullish market in 2016 seems to have had a positive influence on compensation design.”
The Highest-Paid Were Higher-Paid in 2016
Equilar 100 companies included eight CEOs with pay packages over $30 million in fiscal 2016, vs. just four in last year’s study. Thomas Rutledge of Charter Communications received $98.0 million in total compensation, bolstered by a $78 million options grant. The top 10 highest-paid CEOs in the Equilar 100 can be viewed here.
To see the entire Equilar 100 list, please click here.
Revenue vs. Pay Trends
From a revenue perspective, Berkshire Hathaway and Apple swapped places as the largest companies by revenue in the most recent Equilar 100 study. Berkshire Hathaway pulled in $223.6 billion in fiscal year 2016, a 6% increase, while Apple’s revenue dropped 8% to $215.6 billion in 2016. Once again, Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway was by far the lowest-paid CEO in the Equilar 100, earning $487,881 in total compensation last year—in fact, he was the only CEO to be awarded less than $3 million. Tim Cook of Apple was also awarded pay below the median ($8.7 million), and his total compensation was 15% lower than 2015.
While no other company besides Berkshire and Apple exceeded $200 billion in revenues, 10 other companies earned more than $100 billion in 2016. General Mills was the 100th largest company on the list, pulling in $16.6 billion in fiscal year 2016. General Mills CEO Kendall Powell was awarded $8.8 million in fiscal year 2016, well below the median for the Equilar 100.
About the Equilar 100
The Equilar 100 is a snapshot of companies to file annual proxy statements before April 1 to provide an early look at CEO pay trends for 2016. With hundreds of companies filing in the last two weeks of April and first week of May, Equilar’s annual study on the 200 Highest-Paid CEOs overall will be forthcoming in several weeks. While many of the companies in the Equilar 100 are consistent from year to year, due to changes in revenue and floating filing dates the list is not the same every year.
Equilar is the leading provider of board intelligence solutions. Companies of all sizes rely on Equilar for their most important boardroom decisions, including 70% of the Fortune 500 and institutional investors representing over $13 trillion in assets. Equilar offers data-driven solutions for board recruiting, executive compensation and shareholder engagement that bring together business leaders, institutional investors and advisors to drive exceptional results while ensuring sound corporate governance. The Equilar suite of solutions includes industry-leading board education symposiums, comprehensive custom research services and award-winning thought leadership. Founded in 2000, Equilar is cited regularly by Associated Press, Bloomberg, CNBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other leading media outlets. Learn more at www.equilar.com.
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