Report Finds CEO Compensation at Large Companies Increased by Nearly 19 Percent in 2020

On average, CEOs made $351 for every dollar earned by a typical employee in 2020, which rose from a previous ratio of 307-to-1 in 2019, the EPI reported.

hilton ceo

Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

hilton ceo

CEOs at the top 350 companies in 2020 made an average $24.2 million, a 18.9% jump, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

The report also found that CEO compensation has increased an astounding 1,322% since 1978. From 1978-2020, the pay for an average worker only increased 18.0%.

Most CEOs made $351 for every dollar earned by a typical employee, which rose from 307-to-1 in 2019, the EPI revealed. The report’s co-author Lawrence Mishel noted that some company heads publicized their pay cuts during the pandemic. 

“CEOs offering pay cuts during the pandemic yielded favorable headlines, but were symbolic at best and a head fake at worst,” he said in a statement.

As reported by CBS News, Yum Brands CEO David Gibbs saw a $9.5 million bonus, Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Frank Del Rio received a $3.6 million annual bonus “plus a one-time special payment of $2.8 million,” and Hilton Hotels CEO Christopher Nassetta got $13.7 million worth of extra shares in the company, despite all three companies announcing layoffs, furloughs, or “declining profits” at some point in the year. 

As EPI notes, most pay increases stemmed from boards awarding executives some stock. 

Democratic lawmakers have attempted to introduce legislation penalizing companies for paying CEOs 50-times more than what the median worker makes, with the “Tax Excessive CEO Pay Act.” 

This latest report comes a few months after data analyzed by Equilar for The Associated Press found that the median pay package for a CEO at an S&P 500 company sat at $12.7 million last year.

This was 5% more than the median pay in the previous year’s study. 

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