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IN fact

CEOs are awash in numbers from morning till night. Most of those numbers come to CEOs filtered and organized with …

CEOs are awash in numbers from morning till night. Most of those numbers come to CEOs filtered and organized with a PowerPoint behind every numeral. But decision-makers also benefit from data disconnected from any agenda. The Chief Executive INfact collects illuminating facts and figures that underscore the world’s interconnectedness, swift pace and wonder.

1. Increased odds that a company’s CEO would be fired within six months after analyst downgraded their recommendations of the company by one notch | 50 percent

2. Chance that a CEO who left one of the top 2,500 global companies in 1995 was forced out | 1 in 8

3. Chance in 2006 | 1 in 3

4. The U.S. president in office the last time-before September 20, 2007-when the Canadian dollar reached parity with the U.S. dollar | Gerald Ford

5. Ratio of the number of Starbucks outlets to McDonald’s restaurants in Manhattan | 3 to 2

6. Rise in average value, adjusted for inflation, of America‘s largest 500 companies from 1980 to 2004 | Sixfold

7. Rise in average CEO pay in those companies for the same period | Sixfold

8. Phrase General Electric currently uses to refer to low performing employees, formerly called “bottom 10s” | Less effective

9. Length of time average investors held on to a share of stock in 1990 | 25 months

10. In 2004 | 5.2 months

11. Assuming no tinkering of earnings, the number of companies expected to report increases in earnings per share for 20 consecutive quarters | 46

12. Number of companies actually reporting such strings of earnings growth | 587

13. Effect contributed by chief marketing officers of 167 companies on financial performance | Zero

14. Percent of American households that own three or more cars | 32

15. Estimate of extra income tax Americans would pay if employer-provided health care benefits were considered taxable income | $126 billion

16. Factor by which the average size of the American master bathroom is bigger than in 1950 | 2

17. Rank of Los Angeles, New York and Chicago in terms of most gridlocked cities for traffic in the U.S. | 1, 2, 3

18. Annual delay, gasoline wasted and extra cost for the average driver in Chicago | 46 hours, 32 gallons, $906

19. When given the choice between kissing their mother, father-in-law or their car, percent of people who would pucker up and head for the garage | 38

20. From 1956 to 2006, the reduction in the number of weeks of work needed to pay for each 100 square feet of home purchased | 2 weeks

21. Aggregate value of adjustable-rate home mortgages that will reset through the end of 2008 | $571 billion

22. Total value of incremental interest payments represented by resets | $42 billion

23. Increase since 2003 in the percent of time a typical Internet user spends on Google or other search engines | 1,066 percent

24. Drop in Dow Jones Industrial Average on Black Monday, October 19, 1987 | 22.6 percent

25. Years required for the Dow Jones Average to climb back to the all-time high it reached shortly before the crash | 2

26. Factor by which medical costs and workers’ compensation claims for obese employees surpassed those for non-obese employees | 2

27. Aggregate annual salary of Steve Jobs (Apple), Jeff Katzenberg (DreamWorks), Sergey Brin and Larry Page (Google), Rich Kinder (Kinder Morgan), Jerrold Perenchio (Univision) and Terry Semel (Yahoo) | $7 per year

28. Average 2006 total return to investors for these six companies | 3.2 percent

29. The average length of time of a presidential candidate’s sound bite on TV newscasts in 1968 | 42 seconds

30. In 2007 | 8 seconds

31. Average wage paid by auto parts maker Delphi for unionized workers in 2006, fully loaded with benefits | $65 per hour

32. Wage paid by Delphi‘s China plant for same work | $3 per hour

33. Value the average American family saved in 2006 by prices lowered by Wal-Mart | $600

34. Worst-case loss suggested by Bear Stearns’ sales pitch for two hedge funds | 10 percent

35. Actual loss incurred by investors | 100 percent

36. Rank of Deloitte & Touche, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the Central Intelligence Agency among the best employers for entry-level workers | 1, 2, 50

37. Head of cattle that Fidelity Investments keeps on a portion of its corporate campus near Fort Worth | 25

38. With Alcoa’s relocation to New York, reduction in number of Fortune 500 companies located in Pittsburgh since 1965 | 6

39. Increase in U.S. book sales from 2005 to 2006 | 6.5 percent

40. Percent of increase not attributed to sales of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows | 0.05 percent

41. Total shares under management of “socially responsible investment funds” expressed as percent of mutual fund shares outstanding | 2

Sources: 1 Wargareth Wiersema, Rice University, and Mark Washburn, University of California at Berkeley; 2-3 Booz Allen Hamilton; 4-5 Chief Executive research (Starbucks 174, McDonald’s 61); 6-7 Xavier Gabaix and Augustin Landler, “MIT Working Paper: Why Has CEO Pay Increased so Much?”; 8 salary.com; 9-10 NYSE Statistic Exchange; 11-12 James N. Myers and Linda A. Myers, “Earnings Momentum and Earnings Management,” the Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance, spring 2007; 13 The Journal of Marketing, “Chief Marketing Officers: A Study of their Presence in Firms’ Top Management Teams,” slated for the January 2008 issue; 14 Department of Transportation; 15 Office of Management and Budget; 16 National Association of Home Builders; 17-18 Texas Transportation Institute; 19 Goodyear Tire & Rubber; 20 Gregg Easterbrook, The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse (in 1956, 16 weeks, in 2006, 14 weeks); 21-22 Fortune; 23 Online Publishing Association; 24-25 Chief Executive research; 26 Duke University Medical Center; 27-28 Chief Executive research; 29-30 Time; 31-32 Robert Bork, Slouching Towards Gomorrah; 33 Kevin Phillips, Arrogant Capital; 34-36 Business Week; 37 Fidelity Investments; 38 Chief Executive research (in 1965 12 Fortune 500 companies were located in Pittsburgh) 39-40 American Booksellers Association; 41 Jeffrey Hollender and Stephen Fenichell, What Matters Most

About John Kador

John Kador
John Kador is a business author based in Lewisburg, PA. His last book is What Every Angel Investor Wants You to Know: An Insider Revels How to Get Smart Funding for Your Million Dollar Business (with Brian Cohen, McGraw-Hill).