CEO compensation. That's all you have to say to get some people jumping up and down, screaming, and sputtering like raving lunatics. Me, I'm not sure how I feel about executive pay. After all, I was an executive, even a CEO, however briefly. But don't hold that against me.
In any case, I'll try to come up with an objective position by the end of the post.
In the meantime, let's take a look at some CEOs of high-profile, publicly traded technology companies. To be sure, these folks have some things in common. They shoulder a great deal of responsibility and risk; they have really tough jobs; and like it or not, they make tons of dough.
Do shareholders always get their money's worth? Well, not exactly.
Let's start with Mark Hurd of Hewlett-Packard. In fiscal 2006, Mark's total compensation--including equity-based compensation--was at least $19 million. That's a lot of money, right? Let's reserve judgment for the moment.
HP's performance during that time frame was $92 billion in revenue, $6 billion in net income, and $2.18 earnings per share. The stock responded accordingly; shareholders were treated to a market cap gain of $28 billion. For every dollar earned, Hurd returned roughly $1,500 to shareholders. I'd say he earned his keep.… Read more