S&P 500 Chiefs' Pay Rises 22% in '03

July 28, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - S&P 500 chiefs made 22% more in 2003.

Research firm The Corporate Library found the 22% median increase for CEO pay was significantly higher than the 11% increase from 2001 to 2002. The gains were especially heady for technology executives, in particular Oracle’s Larry Ellison, Apple Computer’s Steve Jobs and Yahoo’s Terry Semel, who each saw their total compensation rise more than 1,000% over 2002’s figures, CBSMarketWatch is reporting.

Examining the individual winners, The Corporate Library said Ellison’s increase was due in large part fromexercising approximately $40 million worth of stock options in 2003. By comparison, in 2002 Ellison had no option exercises and had a total compensation of just $40,000. Similarly, Yahoo’s Semel earned $26 million in 2003, due in large part to stock option exercises, up from $1.3 million in total compensation in 2002.

Outside of technology executives,Reuben Mark of Colgate-Palmolive was the only other head of an S&P 500 company whose total compensation rose more than 1,000% in 2003.Per The Corporate Library’s study, total compensation is a measure ofsalary, bonuses, restricted stock grants, long-term incentive payouts and the value realized from executive stock options.