In this tough economic climate and new era of more accountability and transparency for CEO compensation, companies were still paying their CEOs more even as the relative performance of the CEOs' companies was tanking
But one group of companies that didn't have too bad a year was high-tech vendors. For starters, results of the AeA's report on the industry showed that high-tech added nearly 100,000 jobs in 2007, unemployment rates for many high-tech jobs were below 2 percent last year and that the average tech industry wage was 87 percent higher than the average private-sector wage.
Recent financial data, filed by publicly traded high-tech companies, reveals that those situated in the executive suites at some of the leading vendors also had a very good year.
At the top of the list is Oracle's bold and brash leader, Larry Ellison. He took home $US61 million in total compensation in 2007, which was a 100 percent increase from his 2006 total compensation.
The compensation data on the CEOs comes from a recent article in The New York Times that offered accounting breakdowns and comparative analysis of chief executive pay at 200 companies with revenues of at least $US6.5 billion. (The data was gathered by compensation researcher Equilar.)
The theme of the article was that in this tough economic climate and new era of more accountability and transparency for CEO compensation, companies were still paying their CEOs more (using "discretionary bonuses") even as the relative performance of the CEOs' companies was tanking.
In other words, summed up the Times report, "true links between pay and performance remained scarce."
High-Tech's High Flyers
Generally speaking, however, that was not the case with the high-tech companies highlighted in the article. While Ellison's pay did rise 100 percent from the year previous, Oracle's stock price rose 36 percent, and its net income rose 26 percent (revenues were nearly $US18 billion). (Ellison's total value of equity holdings in Oracle is now a mind-boggling $US24 billion.)
Other high-tech execs did well personally as their companies prospered. IBM chief Samuel Palmisano earned nearly $US21 million in total compensation last year (an increase of 11 percent from 2006), while IBM's stock price rose 13 percent in value, and Big Blue gained 11 percent in net income on revenues of $US99 billion. (Palmisano's total value of equity holdings in IBM is now worth $US74 million.)
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