The 30th annual report - Star Tribune Top Executives
July 19, 2021
Pre-pandemic the stock market was on a record bull market run that increased the value of long-term equity awards. That bull run ended with government mandated shutdowns but by August the market was once again hitting record highs restoring the short decline in the long-term equity awards that drives CEO compensation. The Star Tribune counts options and stock awards toward total compensation when executives realize those equity awards and not in the year they are granted.
The 50 CEOs on this year's list realized a combined $647.2 million, a 70% increase, from same list a year ago driven by three pay packages over $70 million including the largest CEO pay package since 2009. Those three accounted for 40% of the entire list. The median compensation among the 50 CEOs was $4.6 million, a 7% increase over the prior year. Boards of directors also used their discretion to alter executive pay plans to reward leadership teams and other employees when they might not have hit goals set before the pandemic emerged as a threat to the economy. The pay ratio uses the total compensation in the summary compensation table of the annual proxy statement and counts the grant date value of equity awards and earnings from non-qualified deferred compensation plans, among the 42 disclosed pay ratios the median was 133 to 1, up from 110 to 1 last year. The median pay at those companies was $58,408, a 1.7% increase.