Over the course of the past two decades, compensation rates for CEOs in the United States have risen dramatically. The term compensation takes salary, cash bonuses and long-term incentives into account.
Since 1989, salary levels amongst CEOs have increased year by year, reaching a peak in 2007. During this year, immediately prior to the worldwide economic downturn, the average salary was around $4 million. Taking other forms of compensation as well as stock gains into account, the total level of compensation reached about $17 million.
Compensation figures were badly hit by falling stock levels over the course of the following five years, and by 2012, the total figure had fallen to roughly $10 million. Times are tough for workers across America and the compensation levels amongst CEOs have sometimes proved contentious.
Indeed, some top level managers are earning 475 times more than the average employee in the United States. Company boards are always intent on hiring the very best and brightest, a policy that always results in massive levels of compensation. For the future, at least, this shows no signs of changing.
This chart shows the pay levels of chief executives in the United States between 1989 and 2012
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