CEO pay increases slow

The top executives at S&P 500 companies reported pay increases were down in 2022-23 compared to the year prior, according to a report from ISS Corporate Solutions.

The report examined CEO pay at 337 large U.S.-based companies listed on the S&P 500 with proxy statements filed Oct. 1, 2022 to April 18, 2023. The report noted:

1. Median CEO base salary was $1.3 million in 2023, up 2.9 percent from 2022.

2. The bonus and annual incentive payouts combined were $2.59 million for the S&P 500 CEOs, a 5.4 percent decrease year over year.

3. CEOs reported their stock and options awards were up 9.5 percent in 2023, standing at $8.5 million. The median option award was up 8.3 percent to $3 million, and many of the awards were granted in early 2022 ahead of the Federal Reserve's attempts to slow inflation.

4. Median overall pay for CEOs was up 3.1 percent for the current filing period, compared with 13.2 percent between 2021 and 2022. Pay was up for just 58.2 percent of the surveyed CEOs.

5. The median overall pay was $14.3 million.

"Lower bonus and annual incentive payouts were expected over the last year given a challenging operating environment for many blue-chip companies," said Roy Saliba, managing director at ISS Corporate Solutions. "It's surprising to see, however, the magnitude of increases in stock and option awards, particularly when viewed against the backdrop of last year's market volatility."

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