It’s no secret that the kings of business have watched their compensation explode in recent years, between mouth-watering CEO pay, sweet stock options and outrageous perks.
The median 2012 CEO pay package, for example, enjoyed a 16% year-over-year increase … even as the median household income showed no significant change. And that divergence is hardly new; CEO pay has grown 127 faster than worker pay over the last three decades.
All the data for executive compensation in 2013 hasn’t yet surfaced, since most filings are released a few months into the new year. But we already got a glimpses of this continuing trend, as a few head honchos were handed hefty pay raises throughout the year.
Take a look at five huge CEO pay raises of 2013.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings
New Base Pay: $3 million
Old Base Pay: $2 million
Percent Increase: 50%
Reed Hastings, the co-founder and chief executive of Netflix (NFLX), stole headlines for his growing executive compensation just last week.
The base pay for the Netflix CEO is being increased to a savory $3 million in 2014 — a substantial jump from a base of $2 million last year, and up even more dramatically from the base of $500,000 the year before. Plus, stock option allowances for Hastings were also upped from $2 million to $3 million.
The Netflix CEO does have a laundry-list of bragworthy bullet points in his 2013 resume that justify the pay bump, though. Shares of NFLX stock exploded by 300% over the course of the year, while Netflix original programming made quite a splash … both in folks’ living rooms and at the Emmy Awards.
In fact, Hastings earned a bronze medal for his leadership on InvestorPlace’s rankings of the 10 Top CEOs of 2013.
Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan
New Base Pay: $1.5 million
Old Base Pay: $950,000
Percent Increase: 58%
Early in 2013, Bank of America (BAC) announced that it was awarding head honcho Brian Moynihan with a larger salary for the year. While Moynihan had enjoyed a still-substantial base salary of $950,000 since he was named Bank of America CEO in 2012, that number was expanded by almost 60% last year.
Of course, don’t be fooled into thinking Brian Moynihan only took home $950,000 as his CEO pay back in 2012. Toss in stock awards, and his total compensation jumps to an almost unfathomable $12 million.
And considering BAC stock beat the market with a climb of more than 30% in 2013, you can bet he’ll be hauling far more than his $1.5 million base salary to the bank.
Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman
New Base Pay: $1.5 million
Old Base Pay: $800,000
Percent Increase: 88%
In 2012, Morgan Stanley (MS) CEO James Gorman had a rough year … relatively speaking. He made $6 million in total compensation — a hefty sum to most of us, but $2.5 million less than he brought home in 2011.
Luckily, Gorman had some brighter new to mop up his tears with; namely, that his base salary for 2013 would nearly double, jumping from $800,000 to a solid $1.5 million. As The New York Times pointed out at the time, that’s almost $29,000 per week … and in line with the salaries of other bank CEOs.
Of course, the Morgan Stanley CEO wasn’t the only one handsomely rewarded. Executive compensation was upped in 2013 for the company’s top deputies as well.
Cisco CEO John Chambers
New Base Pay: $1.1 million
Old Base Pay: $375,000
Percent Increase: 193%
Cisco (CSCO) also wasn’t shy about generously rewarding its chief executive last year. Leading man John Chambers enjoyed a base salary of $1.1 million during fiscal 2013, which ended in late July.
That new base nearly tripled the last one, but the company thought it was well overdue. Per CNN Money: “At $375,000, Chambers’ salary was ‘well below the 25th percentile’ of his peers … and it hadn’t changed since fiscal 2008.”
Of course, that base for Chambers’ CEO pay was, once again, just the tip of the iceberg. His stock awards for fiscal 2013 tallied over $15 million — more than double the prior year’s — while Chambers also saw his cash bonus balloon from $750,000 to $4.7 million. Add it all up, and his total compensation nearly doubled from fiscal 2012, making the Cisco CEO one of the five highest-paid tech execs out there.
Of course, Cisco stock did improve by over 55% in fiscal 2013 … but shares have been in a race to the bottom so far in fiscal 2014.
Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman
New Base Pay: $1.5 million
Old Base Pay: $1
Percent Increase: 149,999,900%
Our last head honcho got handed the most eye-popping raise this year … but it has to be taken with a grain of salt. See, when Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) CEO Meg Whitman first took the reins, she agreed to take a base salary of just $1 a year.
Considering HPQ stock has been killing it since Whitman took over in late 2011 — including a 90% climb in 2013 — it should be no surprise that her salary was given a little bump. Okay, fine — a huge bump. As of Nov. 1, the Hewlett-Packard CEO was given a new base salary of $1.5 million.
Of course, it’s not like Meg Whitman never took home a single green George Washington before that. Instead, she enjoyed a compensation of more than $15.3 million in 2012, thanks to a $1.7 million bonus and a hefty bundle of stock and options grants.
As of this writing, Alyssa Oursler did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.