CEO total pay trends differed for companies in the S&P 500 and the Russell 3000, according to the AFL-CIO, which today unveiled the latest version of its paywatch.org web-based searchable database on CEO compensation and related corporate compensation issues.
Among the S&P 500 companies, CEO pay went down at 121 companies by an average of 32% to $8.7 million, while CEO pay rose at 96 companies by an average of 40% to $12.7 million.
Of the Russell 3000 companies, CEO pay rose by an average 50% to $5.4 million at 480 companies while pay fell an average 37% to $3.9 million at 463 companies.
The AFL-CIO website tracked 2008 corporate proxy statements filed as of March 31, evaluating those that had the same CEO in 2007 and 2008 to allow for pay comparisons.
For the 218 reporting S&P 500 companies which included one without a change in pay the average CEO pay fell 6% to $10.4 million and the median fell 11% to $7.7 million.
For the 946 reporting Russell 3000 companies including three without a change in pay the average CEO pay fell 5% to $4.6 million, but the median CEO pay rose 7% to $2.5 million.
The larger-capitalized companies in the S&P 500, which are included in the Russell 3000, might have pulled down the average pay, while the smaller-cap companies in the Russell 3000 could have raised the median pay, said Patrick OMeara, AFL-CIO corporate specialist.
In 2008, Bruce Wasserstein, chairman and CEO of Lazard, was the highest paid CEO at $133.7 million, a 486% rise from 2007. Next on the list were Lawrence J. Ellison, CEO of Oracle, who was paid $84.6 million; Robert A. Iger of Walt Disney, $51.2 million; Kenneth I. Chenault of American Express, $43.4 million; Paul Marciano of Guess Inc., $41.2 million; and Vikram S. Pandit of Citigroup, $38.2 million,.
Steven P. Jobs, director and CEO of Apple, was the lowest paid CEO at $1.
Judi Mackey, Lazard spokeswoman, disputed the AFL-CIO number for Mr. Wasserstein, pointing out the Lazard proxy statement shows Mr. Wassersteins total compensation was $20.4 million. She said that is a 50% decrease from 2007.