That’s how much more area CEOs are making than their lowest paid employee. Will Bunch points out that Philadelphia’s CEO compensation is even above the national average – but of course, the workers are the ones paying for it:
A Daily News survey of 51 CEOs of publicly traded companies in Philadelphia and its nearby Pennsylvania suburbs – firms in which the leadership didn’t change and have reported their 2010 data – found that their average pay raise last year was a whopping 32.6 percent.
Not that Philly’s CEOs were hurting in 2009, when their average compensation was more than $3.38 million. But, last year the typical top boss got a raise that topped $1 million, to more than $4.48 million.
Their pay hikes on steroids – including bonuses and other things that you probably didn’t get, like stock and pension benefits, on top of base salary – is more than 10 times higher than the average American worker’s raise of just 2.7 percent.
The New York Times reported earlier this month that average CEO raises nationally were 23 percent – meaning that Philadelphia is slightly ahead of the curve.
An expert on executive pay – Eleanor Bloxham, of the Ohio-based Value Alliance – has one word for the new CEO pay binge at a time of 9 percent unemployment and cutbacks for everyone else: “Insane.”
“Isn’t it insanity to keep doing this, to keep doing what isn’t working?” asked Bloxham, referring not just to 2010 but to year after year of outlandish pay raises for top executives supposedly tied to performance – when the overall performance of American companies seems to keep getting worse.
Needless to say, that’s not how they see it in corporate board rooms.
“Sunoco’s future success depends on us being able to attract and retain the people with the skills we need to help us manage through a very challenging market environment, and our compensation structure, which is competitive and in line with market rates, reflects that goal,” said Thomas Golembeski, the company’s spokesman.
Golembeski noted that CEO Elsenhans’ compensation took a steep hit in 2009, when Sunoco’s stock performance was weak, but she was rewarded last year for outperforming Wall Street.
Of course, many of the moves by Elsenhans that boosted the oil company’s stock price – like the freeze in a defined-benefits pension plan, which for now affects nonunion workers, or the 400 furloughs of workers at the closed Eagle Point refinery – inflicted pain on her employees, or former employees.