As Pay Falls, CEOs Get More Perks
Fort Worth, Texas-based XTO Energy gave $3.4 million to Baylor University to help build a new sports complex. It was the second installment of a total $6.8 million pledge made in 2007 to supplement now retired CEO Bob Simpson's own $3.2 million donation to his alma mater.
XTO's generosity extended to an unnamed school that Simpson's children attend. It got a $775,000 donation in 2008, the fourth installment of a $3.1 million gift. A company spokesman did not return a call for comment.
On the other hand, some companies are increasingly using so-called perk allowances, basically cash that executives can dip into at their liking for the perks they want. For example, Tyco International CEO Edward Breen was given a $70,000 cash perk in 2008 while Reynolds American Inc. CEO Susan Ivey got $29,000 in cash to replace an old executive perks program.
While plenty of companies were still willing to dole out generous perks, compensation advisers say there has been a slight pullback in certain benefits that seem to incite the most public outrage. Ira Kay, director of compensation consulting for Watson Wyatt, called perks a major "irritant" to shareholders.Some companies are changing their perks policies. Verizon Communications Inc. will no longer offer free jet travel to CEOs once they have retired, starting with its current chief executive. Past CEOs can still fly for free.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV