TheInstitute for Policy Studieshas recently examined the incomes of CEOs in the US, and the number of people which their corporations have laid off and left unemployed in America, so that the taxpayers could pick up that tab. This study is available as a downloadable .pdf file (1).
Interestingly, but not at all surprising, is the lesson to be learned about the current recession, in which "it pays to lay people off" (2). The CEOs who laid off the most employees (to further fuel the recession and keep profit margins up) are also the CEOs who took home the largest personal paychecks.
Overall, the study found that executive pay "remains extraordinarily high compared to previous decades," (driven by what we used to refer to as 'greed'). Indeed, the CEOs of major US corporations average 263 times the average compensation of American workers (2).
Here are the top ten paid CEOs, ranked according to 2009 incomes:
10) Ivan Seidenberg (Verizon)"óCompensation-$17,485,796
"óLaid Off - 21,308
9) Louis Chenevert (United Technologies)"óCompensation -$17, 897,666
"óLaid Of -13,290
8) Alan Mulally (Ford)"óCompensation - $17,916,654
"óLaid Off - 4,700
7) Michael Duke (WalMart)"óCompensation - $19,234,269
"óLaid Off - 13,350
6) Randall Stephennon (AT&T)"óCompensation - $20,244,312
"óLaid Off - 12,300
5) Samuel Palmisano (IBM)"óCompensation - $21,159,289
"óLaid Off - 7,800