A Crystal-Clear visualisation Of Why These 10 CEOs Are Overpaid

(List compiled by Andrew Dominguez. Data sourced from Finviz and Capital IQ)

In spite of the widespread use of the phrase “economic soft patch” and other euphemisms for slow economic growth and high unemployment rates, one segment of the labour force is still raking in the dough.

Executive pay at the 200 largest companies was up 23% in 2010 compared to year earlier according to a study by Equilar (via the New York Times).

Median pay for top executives rose to $10.8M. Cash bonuses increased by 38% between 2009 and 2010. The highest paid CEO in 2010 was Viacom’s Philippe Dauman who made $84.5M.

Other best-paid CEOs were Ray Irani of Occidental Petroleum ($76.1M) and Leslie Moonves of CBS ($56.9M).

In their defence, profits, on average, grew at a breakneck speed of 29.2% in the 4th quarter of 2010, the fastest rate in decades, according to The Week. This stat, however, may not placate investors.

“What is of more concern to shareholders is that it looks like CEO pay is recovering faster than company fortunes,” Paul Hodgson of GovernanceMetrics International told The New York Times.

Meanwhile, the average weekly income of the average American worker barely improved to $752 per week. Moreover, unemployment is still floating above 9%, which means millions of workers are out of jobs. 

Interested in learning more about CEO compensations? To help you out, here is a list of 10 companies whose share prices have fallen in the past year and whose CEOs made over $11M each in 2010.

We’ve also included visualizations to compare each company’s CEO pay and one year return against industry competitors. All of the companies mentioned below have underperformed their industry, despite the fact that their CEOs are being paid more.

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List sorted by market cap.

1. Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO): Networking & Communication Devices industry with a market cap of $85.8B. It designs, manufactures, and sells Internet protocol (IP)-based networking and other products related to the communications and information technology (IT) industry and provides services associated with these products and their use. CEO John Chambers is set to make over $37M in 2010. Chambers has been with Cisco since 1991 and has been CEO since 1995.

2. AFLAC Inc. (AFL): Accident & Health Insurance industry with a market cap of $21.07B. It is a supplemental health and life insurance provider. CEO Daniel Amos’ calculated compensation for 2010 is close to $16M. Amos joined Aflac in 1973 and has been CEO since 1987. 

3. Motorola Solutions, Inc. (MSI): Communication Equipment industry with a market cap of $14.77B. It provides technologies, products, systems and services including wireless handsets, wireless accessories, digital entertainment devices, set-top boxes and video distribution systems, analogue and digital two-way radios, wireless and wireline broadband network products, and end-to-end enterprise mobility products. CEO Greg Brown is scheduled to make $13.7M in 2010. Brown joined Motorola in 2003 and has been CEO since 2008. 

4. Avon Products Inc. (AVP): Personal Products industry with a market cap of $12.05B. It creates, manufactures and markets beauty and non-beauty-related products including colour cosmetics, fragrances, skin care, personal care, fashion jewelry, watches, apparel, footwear, accessories, children’s products, gift and decorative products, housewares, entertainment and leisure products and nutritional products. CEO Andrea Jung is slated to make $13.2M in 2010. Jung joined Avon in 1994 and was appointed CEO in 1999.


5. Staples, Inc. (SPLS): Specialty Retail industry with a market cap of $11.B. It provides office products in the United States. It offers a range of products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. CEO Ronald Sargent is being paid $15.2M in total compensation in 2010. Sargent joined staples in 1989 and was has served as CEO since 2002. 

6. Community Health Systems, Inc. (CYH): Hospitals industry with a market cap of $2.43B. It provides general and specialised hospital healthcare services to patients in the United States. CEO Wayne Smith’s compensation package for 2010 totals nearly $21M. Smith joined the company as president and CEO in 1997 after spending more than 20 years in the healthcare industry.

7. American National Insurance Co. (ANAT): Life Insurance industry with a market cap of $2.08B. It provides life insurance, individual and group health insurance and annuities, credit insurance, pension products, mutual funds, and property and casualty insurance for personal lines, agribusiness, and targeted commercial exposures. CEO Robert Moody is slated to make $16.5M in 2010. Moody has been a director of American National Insurance Co. since 1960, Chairman of the board since 1982, and CEO since 1991.

8. Janus Capital Group, Inc. (JNS): Asset Management industry with a market cap of $1.71B. It provides investment management, administration, distribution and related services to individual and institutional investors through the Janus series of mutual funds, sub-advised relationships and separate accounts in both domestic and international markets. It also owns a printing and fulfillment business. CEO Richard Weil is scheduled to make $20.3M in 2010. Weil joined Janus as CEO in February 2010 after 14 years at PIMCO.

9. Valassis Communications Inc. (VCI): Marketing Services industry with a market cap of $1.49B. It operates as a media and marketing service company providing consumers with national and local deals online. CEO Alan Schultz is set to earn $15.2M in 2010. Schultz joined Valassis in 1984 and has served as CEO since 1998. 

10. Scientific Games Corporation (SGMS): Multimedia & Graphics Software industry with a market cap of $923.46M. It is a supplier of products and services to lotteries. CEO A. Lorne Weil is receiving $16.4M in total compensation in 2010. Weil has been Chairman of the Board since 1991. He served as CEO from 1992 till 2008 and was reappointed as CEO in November 2010.

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