NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The CEOs of large companies who received the biggest pay increases last year also generated strong returns for their shareholders.
The Wall Street Journal published a study on Wednesday examining chief executive compensation among the top 300 companies by revenue. It compares pay against shareholder returns and demonstrates that executive compensation is increasingly correlated to investor results. All 10 CEOs posting the best shareholder returns got pay boosts in 2014, and all but two of the worst performers received pay cuts.
Researchers also identified what WSJ called "anomalous" results. Some boards' measures of success aren't in line with what makes the most money for investors, and long-term commitments (multiyear incentive plans, pensions, etc.) can drive pay higher regardless of annual performance.
The 10 chief executives who got the biggest raises in 2014 made their investors happy. Here's who they are.
Xerox (XRX) CEO Ursula Burns got the biggest pay hike of 2014, as her total compensation jumped by 792.9% to $22.2 million.
Her shareholders didn't do bad, either, and enjoyed a 16.2% return on their holdings. The company's adjusted earnings per share increased to $1.07 from $1.04 in 2013.
A Xerox representative pointed out that Burns' pay increase appears more dramatic than it actually was, as the company's 2014 proxy statement reflects a two-year total of long-term stock awards that includes $7.75 million tied to a stock award deferred from 2014. If the awards were reflected as 2013 compensation, Burns' total compensation for 2014 would be $14.5 million and for 2013 $10.2 million. The representative added that the Xerox's compensation disclosure and analysis is thorough and provides detail on the compensation committee's decisions.
Burns joined Xerox as an intern in 1980 and became the company's chief executive in 2009.