Executive Pay and Perks
Kevin Salwen on Money
The SEC voted today to force companies to begin disclosing more about executive pay. Perks will get more daylight, with the disclosure level of what is in there shrinking to $10,000 from $50,000. More reporting, supposedly in 'plain English,' will be coming too.
In my prior life as a Wall Street Journal reporter, I covered the last major executive pay disclosure overhaul by the SEC -- in that case, when shareholders were given the right to vote for the first time on exec pay shareholder resolutions. The result of the at-the-time hyped law: zero, nada, zilch.
In fact, exec pay has continued its ludicrous spiral -- and has even completely detached from performance. Truly mediocre CEOs (or worse) have been scooping up obscene amounts of money. Adequate (or worse) executives have snared tasty perks -- like former Delta CFO Michelle Burns' package that provides her with first-class seats for any flight even though she left the company in financial shambles.
And excess reigns supreme. Remember former GE CEO Jack Welch's retirement package? It included unlimited personal use of GE's planes, exclusive use of an $11 million apartment in New York City, a chauffeured limousine, a leased Mercedes, office space, financial services, bodyguard security and security systems for Welch's homes. All courtesy of the shareholders.
So what's the new law going to do? My bet: Zero, nada, zilch again. What's your guess?