Top CEO Salaries Up 15% in 2000

March 1, 2001 ( - Stock options continued to account for a larger percentage of executive salaries in 2000, adding an extra 28% to the pay package, according to a survey conducted by Pearl Myers and Partners, a New York-based executive compensation consulting firm.

The data shows that total average executive compensation at the firms surveyed reached $10.9 million in 2000. That compares to an average compensation of $9.4 million in 1999 based on a 200 firm sampling.

Continuing a long-running trend, the bulk of pay came in the form of stock options. Eleven corporate chiefs received stock options with grant values in excess of $50 million. CEOs received an average stock option package of $6.5 million in 2000 compared to $5 million in 1999, a 28% hike. Pearl Meyers expects more precise figures when company year-end reports become available this spring.

According to proxy reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, executives at Wall Street investment banks and brokerage firms had another good year despite the poor performance of the stock market.  The top five CEOs in 1999 had an aggregate compensation of $1.2 billion.

– Chuck Epstein