CEOs, Directors, Compensation on the Rise

November 11, 2002 ( - Chief executive officers of financial services companies walked away with a hefty total compensation of $1.9 million in 2001 while CEOs of transportation concerns had to make due with $753,000.

Those were some of the findings in the Conference Board’s annual executive pay study, which, this year, covered 2, 841 companies in 14 industries.

The report focuses on total compensation, which includes salary, bonus, and the value of long-term incentives. It also covers total current compensation (salary plus bonus) and salary levels for a firm’s five highest-paid officials.

Total current compensation (salary plus bonus) was also highest in financial services at $1.3 million and lowest in transportation at $540,000. Communications paid the highest median salary – $600,000. The lowest median earners were in computer services, which paid $384,000, according to the Conference Board report.

The Conference Board also studied director compensation and board practices in 662 companies for 2002 and found median total compensation up slightly.

In the manufacturing sector, total compensation for outside directors is $55,700, up from $51,000 in 2001. The financial sector increased very slightly in total compensation to $41,450 from $40,250, according to the Board survey.

Service companies were virtually unchanged – $48,400 this year. It was $48,000 last year. Total compensation includes annual, one- time or periodic grants of stock, restricted stock grants, and the value of option grants.

Basic annual compensation, the mix of fees, retainers and committee pay, is down in financial services, $31,600 in 2002 compared with $35,705 last year. The other sectors are practically unchanged.