Data: CEO Pay Increases Slow as Boards Right-Size Compensation - Modern Distribution Management

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Data: CEO Pay Increases Slow as Boards Right-Size Compensation

Pay for S&P 500 company CEOs in 2022 rose just 0.9% to $14.8 million in median compensation, according to an AP study.
CEO Pay Slows - fizkes via Getty Images Pro, Canva

Last year, compensation for chief executives of S&P 500 companies logged the smallest increase since 2015. Still, CEO pay remains high following big increases in 2021.

Pay data analyzed for The Associated Press by Equliar for 343 CEOs who served at least two fiscal years at their companies found median compensation for chief executives was $14.8 million, rising less than 1% in 2022. In contrast, CEO compensation increased 17% in 2021. 

Alphabet’s CEO ranked No. 1 in the pay survey with a package valued at nearly $226 million, 15 times higher than this year’s median CEO pay. AP reported, “the vast majority of his compensation came from a grant of restricted stock, valued at $218 million, and which Google grants its CEO every three years.”

Company Boards Tie CEO Compensation to Shareholder Returns

The majority of the pay received by the CEOs in the AP’s survey came from stock awards as shareholders “advocated for CEO pay closely aligned with their own returns,” AP reported. 

Stock awards rose 10.5% to a median of $8.5 million. Meanwhile, cash salaries and bonuses comprised less than a quarter of compensation for the typical CEO in the survey. 

Fast Facts on CEO Compensation in 2022

  • Median compensation package for 343 S&P 500 CEOs was $14.8 million in 2022.
  • About 130 CEOs in the survey had pay cuts in 2022. 
  • The largest decline across all pay components for CEOs was annual performance-based cash awards, which were down 15.5% to a median of $2.3 million. 
  • Of the 343 CEOs surveyed, 20 were women. In 2022, CEO who were men were awarded $14.8 million at the median—1% more than women, whose median pay was $14.7 million. (Notedly, this was the first time since 2015 that S&P 500 CEOs who were men out-earned their female counterparts.)
  • For the fourth consecutive year, communication services saw the highest median total compensation across all industries at $28.1 million in 2022. CEOs in the utilities industry saw the lowest median total compensation at $11.3 million.
  • Indiana is the state with the largest pay packages. With at least five CEOs, the state boasts a median pay package of $20.9 million. 

Complete survey results and more details are available on Equliar.

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