Korn Ferry Analysis Reveals Solid Increase in CEO Compensation at the Nation’s Largest Companies
- Median Total Direct Comp for CEOs at Largest US Companies Rises 5.8 Percent Year-Over-Year to $13.9Million -
The 12th annual CEO Korn Ferry Compensation Study examines
pay for CEOs at the nation’s 300 largest public companies and includes
companies that filed their proxy statements between
Median total direct compensation (TDC) for CEOs increased 5.8 percent to
“Despite a year-end blip in the stock market, 2018 was very good for
Corporate America,” said
The mix of the CEO compensation (e.g. salary, bonus, long-term incentives) remained relatively consistent from last year. In addition, when considering the mix of long-term incentives (LTIs), performance awards (equity and cash) make up the largest percentage at 55 percent. Stock options make up 21 percent and restricted stock account for 24 percent.
While year-over-year base salaries remained relatively flat, with a 1.9
percent increase to a median of
Annual bonuses were up by a median of 3.9 percent to
Long-term incentive value (LTIs) were up by a median of 6.8 percent to
When looking at long-term performance,
2018 realized CEO long-term incentive income vs. 2016-2018 total shareholder return
|TSR Ranking||3-Year TSR||Realized CEO LTI|
|Middle Third||8.6%||$9.6 million|
“Simply put, CEOs who delivered better TSR are being paid accordingly,
while CEOs whose companies aren’t performing don’t realize the same
level of compensation,” said
Editor’s Note: all dollar figures and percentages are medians and are calculated independently. Medians should not be added to create another data point.
* Realized pay from stock option exercises and the vesting of restricted stock and performance equity, all granted a number of years ago.
About the Study
The 12th annual study, which is conducted by