The annual ritual of analyzing CEO compensation started in earnest this month when the Wall Street Journal released its preliminary findings from its study of 300 large companies. The initial report highlights the first 50 companies, and the full report will be released in May, but the takeaway is the same as always: Some CEOs are delivering value to shareholders, while others are taking it away.
Today, I’ll provide investors with my opinion of the three best CEOs from the group of 50. In a second article to follow, I’ll provide my three biggest offenders.
To be eligible for today’s winner’s list, a CEO’s stock must have outperformed the S&P 500 in 2012 and his or her total direct compensation for 2012 must be in the bottom half of the 50 companies.
So, without further adieu, here are three CEOs that are earnings their keep: