How CEO pay compares to worker pay in 50 famous companies
In 2017, the average compensation package for CEOs of companies listed on the benchmark Standard and Poor's 500 index (S&P 500) was $13.9 million. The average S&P 500 CEO earns 361 times more than the average company worker, with some chief executives taking home more than 6,000 times what a run-of-the-mill employee makes.
Two years after the 2008 economic catastrophe, comprehensive legislation known as the Dodd-Frank bill was enacted. One of the most controversial provisions of the bill is the section that gave publicly traded companies eight years to list CEO-to-median-worker pay ratios in their annual proxy statements. In 2018, America's largest corporations revealed their 2017 ratios for the first time. Some companies have since revealed their 2018 ratios.
Using data from the AFL-CIO, Stacker compiled a list of 50 of the biggest and best-known of those companies, some of which pay their CEOs thousands of times more than the median company worker. In other cases, the two salaries are fairly close, with one company actually paying its CEO less than the median rank-and-file employee. Here's a look at pay disparity in America's most prominent companies as it pertains the median worker's salary and the CEO's pay package, which includes salary, bonuses, stock awards, and any other compensation.
Read on to find out how 50 CEOs' salaries compare to the salaries of their workers.
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Weight Watchers International
CEO: Mindy Grossman
CEO pay: $33,372,283 (2017)
Median worker pay: $6,013
CEO/median worker pay ratio: 5,908:1
Weight Watchers is all about slimming down—but apparently not when it comes to executive compensation. Former Home Shopping Network CEO Mindy Grossman joined the global weight loss giant in 2017, and her pay package as CEO, president, and director of Weight Watchers represents the largest disparity between CEO and worker pay of any company listed on the S&P 500.
CEO: Margaret H. Georgiadis
CEO pay: $31,275,289 (2017)
Median worker pay: $6,271
CEO/median worker pay ratio: 4,987:1
If you ever played with a Barbie or rode on a Power Wheels when you were a kid, you know the Mattel corporation. If you can't imagine a Mattel employee getting by in America on a little more than $6,000 a year, don't worry, most of them don't have to. About 27,500 Mattel employees—nearly four out of five—are located outside the U.S., so overall worker pay is less than 25% of that paid to the median Mattel employee in the U.S.
Abercrombie & Fitch Corporation
CEO: Fran Horowitz
CEO pay: $10,262,749 (2017)
Median worker pay: $2,991
CEO/median worker pay ratio: 3,431:1
Fran Horowitz served in a variety of executive roles at Abercrombie & Fitch, including Hollister brand president, before taking over as CEO in 2017. Employees there enjoy store discounts and other perks, but the median pay is among the lowest of any major corporation, especially compared with the eight-figure sum Horowitz takes home, which is 3,431 times more lucrative.
CEO: Stephen Easterbrook
CEO pay: $21,761,052 (2017)
Median worker pay: $7,017
CEO/median worker pay ratio: 3,101:1
Last year, Forbes asked "How Many Workers Must Live In Poverty For McDonald's CEO To Make $21.8 Million?" In the article, Forbes used the world's biggest fast-food chain as an analogy for the executive-worker pay disparity. The answer is 3,101: That's how many years the median worker would have to work to match the $21.76 million CEO Stephen Easterbrook earns in just 365 days.
CEO: Arthur Peck
CEO pay: $15,587,186 (2017)
Median worker pay: $5,375
CEO/median worker pay ratio: 2,900:1
Roughly 135,000 people work for Gap; with the median among them a part-time sales associate in Alabama who makes less than $5,400 a year. CEO Art Peck, on the other hand, enjoyed a 75% pay raise after the global apparel chain's sales and profits improved.
CEO: George C. Freeman III
CEO pay: $3,711,199 (2018)
Median worker pay: $1,528
CEO/median worker pay ratio: 2,429:1
A $3.71 million salary is nothing to brag about in terms of annual compensation for CEOs of major corporations—until you compare it to the $1,528 the median Universal employee earns in the same time period. George C. Freeman III, who has been chairman and CEO of the tobacco giant since 2008, enjoys annual compensation that's more than 2,400 times that earned by the company's median employee.
CEO: Gerald W. Evans Jr.
CEO pay: $9,581,986 (2017)
Median worker pay: $5,237
CEO/median worker pay ratio: 1,830:1
Hanesbrands, the largest everyday basic apparel company in the world, employs more than 70,000 workers—one of whom is inching toward an eight-figure salary. Gerald W. Evans Jr. was elected CEO and appointed to the board of directors in 2016 after a decade of successful ventures at the executive level starting in 2006.
CEO: Jane Elfers
CEO pay: $15,757,167 (2017)
Median worker pay: $8,693
CEO/median worker pay ratio: 1,813:1
Since becoming president and CEO of the Children's Place in 2010, Jane Elfers has enjoyed wide-ranging praise for resurrecting the brand, and she's been well compensated for her efforts. On Aug. 28, 2018, she cashed in when she sold 100,000 shares of company stock for $134.93 per share for a total haul of $13.5 million.
CEO: Robert Greenberg
CEO pay: $7,764,992 (2017)
Median worker pay: $5,140
CEO/median worker pay ratio: 1,512:1
Robert Greenberg operated a roller skate shop, sold electronic tweezers, imported antique clocks, opened a hair salon, and finally launched L.A. Gear before he and his family struck gold by founding Skechers U.S.A. The company started in 1992 as a utility boot collection and is now a $4.16 billion collection of globally distributed brands.
CEO: Laura Alber
CEO pay: $14,429,332 (2017)
Median worker pay: $9,771
CEO/median worker pay ratio: 1,477:1
Although women make up half the American workforce, they fill just 6% of CEO positions at the companies listed on the S&P 500. Williams-Sonoma president and CEO Laura Alber is counted among that small percentage. The self-made woman joined the consumer retail company at an entry-level position and worked her way all the way up to chief executive, a position she achieved in 2010.2018 All rights reserved.