Over the last five years, median CEO pay in the survey has jumped by 19.6 percent, not accounting for inflation. That’s nearly double the 10.9 percent rise in the typical weekly paycheck for full-time employees across the USA.
“It’s all out of whack right now,” said Heather Slavkin Corzo, director of the AFL-CIO Office of Investment, which says CEOs for major U.S. companies make 347 times more than the average worker.
The highest-paid executive in the survey was Thomas Rutledge of Charter Communications, which absorbed Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks last year to become the nation’s second-largest cable operator. His compensation totaled $98 million, about $88 million of that from stock and option awards included as part of a new five-year employment agreement. For Rutledge to collect the full amount, Charter’s share price will need to rise 155 percent over six years.
No. 2 on the survey was Leslie Moonves at CBS, who made $68.6 million. That included $63.9 million in bonus and stock awards that the company’s board said he received for presiding over a 36.6 percent return for CBS shares in 2016 and for keeping CBS the top-rated network in the 2015-16 season, among other performance measures
No. 3 was Walt Disney’s Robert Iger, at $41 million. That was 6 percent less than the year before, as slowing growth resulted in a bonus cut.
No. 4 at $37.2 million was David Zaslav of Discovery Communications, whose networks include TLC and Animal Planet. Roughly 70 percent of that was from stock and option awards.
No. 5 was Activision Blizzard’s Robert Kotick, whose compensation surged 358 percent to $33.1 million. That was almost entirely due to $24.9 million in stock awards he received as part of a new five-year employment agreement.