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CEO Compensation

Medtronic CEO Bill George: Still Searching for Authenticity


Under Bill George's leadership the medical technology company’s market capitalization grew from $1.1 billion to $60 billion, averaging an annual 35 percent increase. Earlier in his career he was an executive with Honeywell, Litton Industries and served in the Department of Defense. Since leaving Minneapolis for Cambridge, Mass. to become a professor at Harvard Business School, George has turned into the Diogenes of executive management, searching for and occasionally finding what he calls “authentic” leaders--men and women who lead effectively because they are, first, honest with themselves.

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Do Banks Pay For Performance?

While industry analysts believe there’s an urgent need to align CEO pay with performance, apparently many companies are still dragging their feet on the issue. A study by the Presidio Pay Advisors revealed that U.S banks which participated in the Treasury’s bailout program have not tied executive pay with performance since the financial crisis began in 2007.

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CEO Pay for Performance: Reality or Illusion

Fifty years ago CEO pay was primarily based on ‘pay for time’ (salary, benefits and perquisites — pay that is insensitive to individual or company performance. Over the last 50 years the design of executive pay in general and CEO pay in particular has shifted dramatically from ‘pay for time’ to ‘pay for performance’– cash incentive pay dependent on individual and company performance and equity pay (restricted stock and stock options) dependent on company stock price performance.

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Fixing Executive Compensation: Right Time, Wrong Approach

As a result of the executive pay cap in companies taking TARP funding, the door has been opened for increased federal regulation of executive compensation. It is impossible at this point to predict how open the door is and whether or not it is just the first step in an effort by the federal government to control executive compensation in the U.S.

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Paying the Piper


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, signed by President Obama on February 17, 2009 mandates strict new rules on executive compensation for recipients of the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program.

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Sound, Fury-and Reasoned Response

In these unprecedented times, legislators in the U.S. (and elsewhere) are taking aim at corporate governance of executive compensation and at an array of specific pay practices, from base salary increases to incentive awards to severance and even to corporate jets.

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Does CEO Pay Align With Performance?

An annual study by the global consulting firm Watson Wyatt revealed that compensation committees at U.S. companies had been making significant adjustments to how they compensate their chief executives even prior to the recent financial crisis, marking a clear departure from the age-old practice of honoring popular executives with extra premium packages.

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The Costs of CEO Failure

According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the number of CEO departures in the U.S. between 2005 and 2007 averaged almost twice that of the preceding three years. By mid-year 2008, this rate was again on the increase.

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