CEOs are living the good life. On the company’s dime.
America’s 100 best-paid corporate chiefs got an 18.7 percent boost in their perks packages, according to a survey of executive pay performed by Equilar for The New York Times. Those perks, which range from access to a private jet to company-sponsored security details to life insurance policies, were worth $320,635 on average last year, according to an Equilar analysis of the survey.
The rise in perks comes as companies continue to face pressure to rein in executive pay with ordinary Americans struggling in the wake of the financial crisis. And though lawmakers and investors have railed against the giant perks packages — most famously when the CEOs of the Detroit Three automakers flew to Washington in private jets to ask for government aid in 2008 — the generous perks have proliferated.
In addition, CEO pay has gone up, despite rules like the Dodd Frank financial reform bill’s “Say on Pay” provision, which gives shareholders a non-binding say on executive pay. CEO pay rose by 8 percent on average last year, the biggest boost in nearly two years, according to a recent analysis from USA Today.
That’s nearly three times the rate of ordinary workers, whose pay rose by about 2.7 percent last year, according to NBC News.
Still, there are some companies willing to curb their executives’ perks. Struggling Chesapeake Energy cut CEO Aubrey McClendon’s use of the company’s private jet in half earlier this year, after controversy erupted over McCLendon’s dealings with a company doing business with Chesapeake.