CEOs Had To Make Do With Paltry 36.5 Percent Raises This Year

Being your own boss means giving yourself however big a raise you darn well please. A survey of the honchos at each Standard & Poor 500 company found that CEOs and their boards deemed their services an average of 36.5 percent more valuable than the year before, judging from the raises they received.

CNNMoney reports a survey of 3,000 companies found more modest pay increases of 27 percent. Research firm GMI made the findings, and a senior research associate with the company says the pay spikes didn’t match up to increases in their companies’ profits or share prices.

Hopefully the CEOs will demonstrate their greater value by dreaming up ways to add jobs and re-introduce the antiquated concept of pay raises to the worker bees.

CEO pay jumps 36.5 percent [CNNMoney]


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  1. Wasp is like Requiem for a Dream without the cheery bits says:

    LOLOLOLOLOL I think I got a 15% raise after three years of busting my ass. They’ll get my sympathy if they can suck it out of my belly button.

    • Sian says:

      I haven’t had a raise since 2005.

      • Wasp is like Requiem for a Dream without the cheery bits says:

        Have you thought about approaching your bosses in a clam, rational manner, and then setting them on fire?

        Related: holding their loved ones hostage.

    • Farleyboy007 says:

      I had to get a new job to get a 4% raise. Wow.

      • Wasp is like Requiem for a Dream without the cheery bits says:

        Well, to be fair I’ve been with the company for a number of years.


    • dolemite says:

      Wow, 15% is pretty awesome. I think I’ve gotten one 2% raise in the past 3 years, despite the fact we were guaranteed at least a cost of living increase yearly.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        There’s nothing like a COLA raise isn’t enough to cover increased insurance premiums.

    • Saltpork says:

      I switched jobs this year(finally) but over the last 3 years I’ve lost 14% of my pay.

    • maxhobbs says:

      You may have been busting your ass by “your” definition but that may not be what your boss thinks of you.

      And even if you did bust your ass, did it actually make your company profit more or expand?

      I mean, a fry cook can bust his ass but that may not sell more burgers (not to mention part of his job description is to bust his ass).

      • Harvey The Wonder Hamster says:

        What’s with the CEO Defenders we get in here? Do they think they’ll be CEOs one day and want the sweet deal to be protected until they can get a share?

  2. Coffee says:

    Goddammit, Phil…I don’t want to kill someone on a Friday. This is a Monday story if I ever heard one.

    • Wasp is like Requiem for a Dream without the cheery bits says:

      I agree, this is a rageful story if I ever heard one. This, coupled along with my violent music and extra large coffee makes me think that bad shit is going to go down today.

      Though I have that feeling almost every morning.

  3. Fineous K. Douchenstein says:

    This is just disgusting.

    • rushevents says:


      • Earl42 says:

        Reall? How can you claim to be a Rush fan while not seeing why this is disgusting? Have you ever listened to ‘Closer to the Heart’ or ‘The Big Money’?

      • Earl42 says:

        Really? How can you claim to be a Rush fan while not seeing why this is disgusting? Have you ever listened to ‘Closer to the Heart’ or ‘The Big Money’?

  4. pop top says:

    Isn’t there a name for this phenomenon, of companies continuing to give their CEOs higher and higher salaries to supposedly keep up with the competition? There is some sort of idea that if they don’t drastically increase the CEO’s wages every year, the CEO may potentially leave for another company that will pay them more, so the board keeps throwing money at them to stay. What happened to working for your wage? I know, LOL rich people working but really, do the boards honestly think that their CEO is going to do anything useful or innovative or helpful if they know they’re guaranteed a pay raise regardless of performance?

    • RandomHookup says:

      I remember seeing a study years ago that said that CEOs were happy with their pay until they found out that CEOs of competing companies were making more. Even the boards were involved in the arms race because they didn’t want to be perceived as penny-pinching by the competition.

  5. rpm773 says:


    I have enough to think and worry about in my life without getting worked up about what some bogeyman CEO received as a raise.

    • VectorVictor says:

      Considering this was the net result of over 3,000 companies (and one would presume, over 3,000 CEOs), that’s significantly more than a singular ‘boogeyman’.

      But go ahead and keep being willfully ignorant while the rest of us worry and discuss the issue, because that course of action has historically led to positive results.

      • Slaughterhouse5 says:

        If by “discuss” you mean whine and complain without actually understanding the pay structure or why someone may be worth more than you, then continue. Meanwhile, I will continue to look for ways to increase my value to my company and continue to receive reasonable increases in salary as a result.

        • PHRoG says:

          If by “posting” you mean, whine and complain without actually explaining anything about the pay structure, then please continue. Meanwhile, I’ve got pitchfork shopping to get done.

          • Slaughterhouse5 says:

            And if by “shopping” you mean spend money you haven’t go on shit you don’t need, have at it hoss.

        • Akuma Matata says:

          ^ This — their raises do not impact your ability to improve your value to a company and demand greater compensation. If that company won’t pay you, there are companies out there that will. Good, high-performing employees are always in demand.

          • Polish Engineer says:

            Dude… in a world of 9% unemployment saying good workers are always in demand seems kind of goofy.

            And saying that executive pay doesn’t impact the ability of workers to get raises doesn’t make sense. If the CEO is making that money, you can’t.

            • Akuma Matata says:

              “Dude… in a world of 9% unemployment saying good workers are always in demand seems kind of goofy.”
              It may seem that way, but it’s the truth. 9% unemployment is still 9 out of 10 people are employed.

              “And saying that executive pay doesn’t impact the ability of workers to get raises doesn’t make sense. If the CEO is making that money, you can’t.”
              Maybe you can’t at that company, but wealth is not a zero sum game.

              • David Doe says:

                yes it is. Until the earth becomes infinite it will always be a zero sum game. There is no way around this.

        • Polish Engineer says:

          Look, I appreciate capitalism as much as the next guy BUT, if you read the article the Mckesson CEO got 145 million last year. To put that in worker bee terms, close to $70,000 an hour. That’s just nuts. Plain and simple.

        • Jevia says:

          You go on thinking that good hard working people who got laid off, or who have their salaries frozen in order to fund the CEO’s 36% raise, deserved it. The 1% and Republicans love your vote

        • Kuri says:

          And then you get let go because they decide that they can hire someone more desperate to do your job for less.

        • Harvey The Wonder Hamster says:

          Worth more?

          Worth 500x more, no matter how they perform or how the company does, plus 35% raises each year?
          Hell no.

          • Harvey The Wonder Hamster says:

            Ha! I apologize, I foolishly put “500x” more.

            I should have put “5000x more, apparently.

            John Hammergen of McKesson Corp earned $145 million last year in total compensation from McKesson.

            If the lowest paid McKesson customer service rep earns $30,000 a year, that means Hammergen earned 4,833 times what the customer service rep earned.

            Also, if said customer service rep gets fired, she gets almost nothing. If Hammergen gets fired McKesson will pay him a severance package of $469 million.

            Tell me again how this makes any sense, fiscally, morally, ethically, or even within the realm of human sanity.

      • rpm773 says:

        Thank you for supporting my wish to remain living “willfully ignorant”. I’d contend that I’m not willfully ignorant of the issue – I acknowledge there are some out there with more than others. But that’s always been the case since the dawn of time. At some point one has to move on and live one’s life without being envious of another.

        And, no offense meant, but all you and your ilk’s worrying and discussing about the issue hasn’t seem to have made a hill of beans difference if, in 2011, over 3000 CEOs saw their raises “jump” to 36.5%.

        Might I suggest that you channel that wasted energy on something that may net results of a more tangible nature. Such as joining me in my “willful ignorance”?

        • Jevia says:

          If by “channeling that wasted energy on something that may net results of a more tangible nature” you mean all the 99% protests that have been going on for several months now, your suggestion has been fulfilled.

          Maybe things have changed yet, but its only just begun. Give it time. The Vietnam war protests didn’t stop the war in just a couple of months. The Civil Rights movement didn’t get laws changed in just a few months. People are not just “whining” about this anymore, they are doing something.

    • rushevents says:

      Didn’t you know that they are rich people and that rich people, by default, are bad people?

      Didn’t you know that you are supposed to be jumping up and down on the class warfare bandwagon?

      C’mon. get with the program.

  6. u1itn0w2day says:

    The good old boy network always takes care of their own no matter how corrupt and/or incompetent they may be.

  7. Chairman-Meow says:

    Every time a CEO does not get at least a 30% raise, God kills a kitten.


  8. Farleyboy007 says:

    Why can’t there be a salary cap in the corporate world? I’d love for CEO’s to go on strike when their CBA is up.

  9. mikedt says:

    And yet for most of these companies, if the CEO position was eliminated the company would continue to function in pretty much the same way. There are exceptions, naturally Apple comes to mind, where the CEO and the company are inseparable, but in most cases they’re figureheads that do little to help the bottom line. Hell getting rid of the CEO and hiring an extra 10,000 customer service reps would probably help the bottom line more.

    • Buckus says:

      Here, here. If there were a thumbs up, you would get it.

    • Nobody can say "Teehee" with a straight face says:

      I agree, but lets not go way overboard with numbers. The average CEO pay in the largest companies could be traded instead for about 300 customer service reps.

  10. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Lovely. I only got a 2% raise this year, and that’s my first raise EVER in my working life.

  11. BurtReynolds says:

    Silly commoners. The fact they saw profits increase while not adding jobs or introducing pay raises for “worker bees” is why they received the bonuses. “Good for America!!” says our elected officials.

  12. East_Coast_Midwesterner says:

    Don’t worry my littles. It will all trickle down when all the CEOs purchase new 900 ft scooners.

    Reagan’s Ghost

    • Kuri says:

      I don’t think that warm trickle I’m feeling is money.

    • Velvet Jones says:

      Don’t make fun. In old Ronnie’s time that philosophy actually had some merit. When the US was major producer of goods, especially luxury goods, rich people spending money did help the common man. Unfortunately almost all of those jobs are gone, and the money spent today goes to multi-nationals and China. The GAO produced a great report about this last year. They basically said the recent stimulus was a total bust because any of the money actually spend more often then not benefited other countries.

  13. Worstdaysinceyesterday says:

    I will probably not get a raise this year. The upper mismanagement (not just the CEO) are paid very well from what I can tell. I am fairly happy with my salary (for now) as well. What irks me is the penny pinching that goes on for little things like IT resources, and facilities. I work in a dump for a double digit billions company, it is so embarrassing and depressing. Oh yeah – and I will NOT be going to the Holiday party where I am expected to buy a ticket for $20 pp. pfft

    • Sian says:

      You have to buy a ticket for your own holiday party?

      Will there at least be booze?

      • Worstdaysinceyesterday says:

        I think you got two booze “tickets” I live in Milwaukee and we are not known for stopping at two.

    • Velvet Jones says:

      Same with me. I work for a Fortune 500 company that is currently operating at about a 32% profit margin, which is incredible. Yet, holiday parts have been gone for years, as was the summer picnic. We didn’t get raises for two years, and this year they took away coffee cups and spoons, as well as our cafeteria. CEO got a huge bonus yet again.

      • halo969 says:

        That disgusts me, as does the entire topic. I don’t think ANYONE deserves the kind of pay these CEOs make. Same goes for actors who get paid millions to pretend to be someone else. It’s ridiculous to see people get paid more money than anyone ever really needs and then hear about people struggling to keep a roof over their heads. And we wonder why it seems like kids are getting a worse education? Because we pay too much to people who don’t make a difference to the greater good and too little to those who do. It’s sad.

        • BurtReynolds says:

          It depends. Sometimes these people really do “earn” their money.

          Take the actor example and apply it to a movie like “Sherlock Holmes”. I looked at Rotten Tomatoes, and the movie is somewhat middle of the road as far as quality. No one is winning an Oscar for Sherlock Holmes, but it might be entertaining.

          I could probably find some no-name actor to work for pennies compared to a “star”, who would do a fine job in the role. Yet, with a movie like this, names matter. Will anyone come see “Bob Smith” as Sherlock Holmes? Even if it is a “good” movie? Or will people come see Robert Downey Jr. because they like him, and the movie is OK? Maybe attaching Downey’s name to the movie boosts the box office by $30M compared to Bob Smith? In that case, is it foolish to pay Downey $20M?

          Same with an athlete. Michael Jordan earned every dollar when he played for the Bulls. Some guys can single-handedly get wins, fill seats, sell merch, and attract advertisers.

          Some CEOs also earn their keep. I’d argue Alan Mullaly at Ford has earned every dollar of his compensation package. The guy helped reverse Ford’s fortunes.

          The problem is that for every Alan Mullaly, there is a Bob Nardelli tanking Home Depot (and then Chrysler’s) stock price while earning a king’s ransom.

  14. Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

    And the targets painted on them also got 36% bigger.

    • dolemite says:

      Stop the class warfare! These guys deserve it! Not everyone can force salaried people to work 10 hours of overtime for free while cutting hourly jobs and lobbying Congress for subsidies. Oh wait…yeah, pretty much anyone could do those things.

  15. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    No raise this year, or last year, and only a small one the year before. And from what I heard from my boss, don’t look for a raise next year either.

    And guess what – since the small raise two years ago, insurance copays have gone up, so that’s gone too. I’m actually taking home less money as time goes by. But I got a $15 gift card for Walmart. Yay.

    • MrFuzzums says:

      I feel your pain. No raise for 3 years, no bonus at all this year, my insurance premiums went up by 300% and the plan now includes a huge deductible, and the company matching for my 401k went from 10% to 2%. I’m taking home significantly less while all of the execs got at least an 18% increase this year. Also lost 5 days of PTO. I work for a fantastically profitable international corporation, but you’d never know it. Not surprisingly, our US employees have the worst compensation and benefits package in the entire company.

  16. PunditGuy says:

    I’ll say it again: Outsource the 1%. The smartest CEO in India or China could run HP into the ground just as well as Apotheker, and for significantly less than what they’re paying Whitman to replace him.

  17. Dallas_shopper says:

    Ugh…pigs…can’t remember the last time I got a raise.

  18. nishioka says:

    > Paul Hodgson, senior research associate at GMI, said the sharp rise in pay was out of line with the relatively modest improvement that companies typically achieved in profits or share price during 2010.

    I think that bothers me more than anything else. Why are you getting a 36.5% payraise when the company isn’t performing at a level that merits it?

    CEOs payraises should be capped at whatever percentage the folks at the bottom level get. Running a company is a two-way street. The rank-and-file workers rely on leadership at the top for product vision and development strategy – and the leadership at the top relies on the rank-and-file for execution. So if you want to help yourself to more money… help out your enablers too.

  19. u1itn0w2day says:

    As disgusting as it is if a cap is put on salary it could wind up affecting all the employees.

    It is also one step closer to socialism where your job-not pay gives you status in a society/company. As a non or lower management employee your status would be crap.

    Capitalistically speaking you protest by not giving these companies your business.

    • Kuri says:

      It already is crap for most people.

    • Harvey The Wonder Hamster says:

      I once read a good proposal about capping CxO pay at something like 100x the lowest paid employee.

      So for a CEO to make 5 million a year, they would have to pay their lowest paid employee $50,000 a year. If the CEO wants 6 million, they need to raise the lowest salary too.

      Then again, why would any CEO settle for a mere 100 times the salary of the regular employees? The CEO of McKesson last year got 4,833 times the salary of someone earning $30,000 a year at his company.

      Nearly FIVE THOUSAND TIMES the salary.

  20. zantafio says:

    It’s this kind of headlines that makes me want to join the Occupy protests.

  21. One-Eyed Jack says:

    Serious question here — who gives the CEO their raise? Is it the board? The CFO? Some committee? The association of CEOs? I agree that the old boys (and girls) network takes care of its own.

    • RandomHookup says:

      The board of directors (or a subset — the compensation committee), many of whom owe their role on the board to the CEO. The coziness of the relationship has always been a problem.

  22. dush says:

    The board sets the salary and if the shareholders are rebelling against the board then it’s not the CEO’s fault.
    It’s all the shareholders, all the investors and pension fund managers.

  23. Talmonis says:

    The best part is when all of their friends sit on each other’s board of directors, able to vote each other payraises while laughing at the people on the street below. What I’ll never understand is the right’s obsession that “teachers are paid too much” for a grueling and stressful job while “CEO’s deserve their money” to play golf, sign a few papers and generally have no actual responsibility/risk at all. The best part? If they fail, and tear the company apart to line their own pockets? They get to bail out with a gold parachute, forcing the victimized company to pay them for the privledge of being destroyed. Get out the guillotines. Storm the Bastille and let the government watch as the people correct the issue in the streets, while the military (you know, poor folks) defends them.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      POLITICS-ick, does describe this stuff best. As they say ‘It’s not what you know but who you know’.

      Also boards of directors who mostly approve just about everything a company does are almost forced to give these raises as hush money so to speak because they have been approving and signing off on these CEO company’s crap accounting statements for years if not decades in many cases.

    • Kuri says:

      Funny since those CEOs and politicians might not be there without said teachers.

      Then again a good number of them likely went to private schools.

  24. Nic715 says:

    This couldn’t have come up at a worse time for me…it’s like salt to the wounds. We got a notice in September that our yearly raise would go into effect in December and would be reflected in our checks on Dec. 16th…so I’ve been looking forward to this check for weeks…well today comes and my check was actually for LESS than it has been for the last year…we did indeed get our raises, but our health insurance also went up this week and it not only ate my raise, it ate a nice chunk of my previous pay as well. :( It was more than a little heartbreaking. Screw these CEO’s…it’s all the peons that actually DO all the work!!

  25. HomerSimpson says:

    Now now, people! Mustn’t complain or else teh job creators won’t create anymore jobs! Most of you should be thankful for the privilege to work for these CEO types, never mind you being paid a salary to do it!

  26. thrashramy says:

    I haven’t had a raise in 3 years and my husband in 5 years. My insurance has gone up every year, and by a decent amount. My other bills have also increased. I knew I couldn’t get a raise this year so I asked for an extra week of vacation and got it. My husband is planning on doing the same at the end of the month. I have noticed a lot of other people doing this as well.

  27. GoJints says:

    My nose runs for them…

    I haven’t had a raise in 4 years and my insurance co-pay has gone up about 20% over the same time period. So they get a pawltry 36.5% raise, I’m making less now than I was in 2007, but working more hours. Something is so wrong here.

  28. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Raise? What the fuck’s a raise?

  29. mindaika says:

    A what, now? “Raise,” you say? Never heard of it.

  30. debjwhe says:

    Bless their poor little hearts. NOT!!!!!

  31. muu says:

    Every time I see these stories and the people complaining about the CEO income, makes me wonder why these guys don’t just become CEOs themselves and join in on the money-making. I mean, anyone can do their jobs, right? Quit your job, start a company and make that 30% raise your own.

  32. FiorellaMajumdar says:

    Gee, did the market grow by 36.5 percent? Did the economy expand at an annual rate of 36.5 percent? Did revenue increase by 36.5 percent? Because if those measures didn’t, then the CEOs are thieves and must be arrested for robbery. If those measures DID grow by those averages, then those crying that the economy is in the toilet are liars or idiots and need to be removed from the conversation. If there is that much money out there for increases, then the Occupy Wall Street movement was right all along and America needs to burn with the fires of revolution again.

    So Mr. CEO, which is it?

  33. suez says:

    So when does the Fed have to start printing more money to keep up with al these crazy CEO raises?

  34. Extended-Warranty says:

    Are many CEOs overpaid? Yes.

    Does anyone have any idea how cutting CEO pay would really not affect other worker’s wages? No.

    Many CEOs have salaries at 1 mil, give or take. Cutting their stock options isn’t going to create jobs.