CEOs at Fortune 100 companies get expensive perks — including cars and drivers, jets and gyms.
The value of CEO perquisites in the U.S. — goodies like personal use of the corporate jet, cars and drivers, gyms and extra retirement contributions — jumped 8.6 per cent in 2011, the most recent full year of data available, says a recent study by Equilar, an executive compensation data firm. (Visit the firm at equilar.com). CEOs at Fortune 100 companies got a median $248,638 worth of perks.
"Giving out more perks to executives while most employees are struggling with stagnant pay, cuts in benefits and unemployment adds insult to injury," says Jennifer O'Dell, of the Laborers' International Union of North America.
Boards are so generous that perks alone can add up to more than what most people make in a lifetime, points out Stephen Lerner, a former union organizer for the Service Employees International Union. Jeff Bezos at Amazon.com (AMZN) and Larry Ellison at Oracle (ORCL), both multibillionaires, each got more than $1.5 million for home security alone. "It is obscene," says Lerner, who adds, "CEOs are the new royalty."
But this is more than a social issue. Because perks aren't generally linked to performance, they do nothing to motivate execs to create value for shareholders, the supposed purpose of high executive pay. Combined with excessive pay, generous perks can signal poor corporate governance, which can lead to poor stock performance.
Click through this slideshow, for the CEOs who got the biggest perks in several of the categories Equilar studied, ending with the all-around perk king.
* All dollar amounts in USD.
* Bing: Highest-paid CEOs
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