Executive Compensation is a touchy subject. Some believe executives should be compensated in relation to share price. Others feel that an executive should derive their satisfaction from the growth of their business and not from pulling down a massive salary. Buffett for one is a huge proponent of this approach. He pays himself a comparably paltry $100K salary per year and several of the businesses owned by Berkshire have CEOs who share this same compensation package.
If CEOs should make a few million dollars a year or a few thousand dollars a year is not something I'll debate here. I will however suggest that if a company you own has a highly paid CEO, and the company has shown weak performance over the last year you may want to consider selling it.
Finding Companies That May Cut Executive CompensationBoards don't go out of their way to advertise their intent to cut an executive's salary, but if you want to guess where pay cuts are likely to appear you need only look at the top 10 paid executives in the US and then cross reference that with the change in their company's stock price over the last year. Where stock prices have decreased and compensation is at record highs you will find likely targets for cuts to compensation. Here are a few examples:
|Change in share|
Price over 1yr
|NBR||Eugene Isenberg||$79,333,079||49% reduction in share price|
|HES||John Hess||$159,566,940||50% reduction in share price|
|UPL||Michael Watford||$116,929,392||37% reduction in share price|
As you can clearly see, the stock prices have plumetted in these businesses but it has not stopped these execs from pulling in record pay. Here are a few executives who's salary cannot help but be the topic of investor meetings and board discussions.
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