Letters to the Editor

Letter: Executive compensation

What a disgusting piece of Americana revealed in the June 4 article on CEO pay in S&P 500 companies. The level of greed in this country knows no limits. I own several stocks, and a quick look at the executive compensation tables in the Annual Reports shows it doesn’t stop with the CEOs. Top executive salaries, stock options, deferred comp, and benefits can amount to millions per year.

I take issue with one fact stated in the article, “that shareholders tend to give overwhelming support to pay packages to company leaders.” Practically every proxy statement that accompanies each annual report contains a proposal to be voted on by shareholders — “Non-Binding Advisory Vote to Approve Executive Officer Compensation.” This is ambiguous wording.

I used to think this meant that shareholders were approving an opportunity to advise on executive compensation. But no, it really means you are giving blanket authority to the members of the Executive Compensation Committee to pay whatever they want. I doubt most shareholders really read the massive and complex annual reports and proxy statements, and that if they actually advised on executive pay levels, they would disapprove.

— Carey Cossaboom


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