June 23, 2024

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The historical gap is explained in numbers

The historical gap is explained in numbers

by Associated Press

Typical CEO compensation for S&P 500 companies continues to rise, outpacing wage growth for average workers.

In its annual analysis of CEO compensation for The Associated Press, the data firm Equilar reviewed the salaries, benefits, stock and other pay components of 341 top executives. The survey found that CEOs’ average income rose nearly 13% in the past year. In contrast, the increase in salaries and net benefits for workers in the private sector increased by only 4.1% until 2023.

The AP study included pay data for S&P 500 CEOs who had worked at least two full consecutive fiscal years at their companies, and who provided proxy data between Jan. 1 and April 30. Beyond the growing pay gap between CEOs and their employees, the survey also highlights persistent gender inequality: the number of women in CEO positions remains small compared to their male counterparts.

These are some of the most important conclusions in numbers.

$16.3 million

That was the average CEO salary last year, up 12.6% from 2022. The $16.3 million represents a compromise, meaning half the CEOs got more money and the other half got less money.

200 years

The gap between CEOs and all other employees continues to widen. In half of the companies surveyed this year, a worker in the middle of the employer’s pay scale would need nearly 200 years to earn the same as their CEO. These managers will earn at least 196 times what the average employee earns, compared to 185 times last year.

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The gap is especially wide in companies where employees earn less, such as retailers. At Ross Stores, for example, the company says its employee in the middle of the pay scale was a part-time associate in a retail store and earned $8,618. It would take 2,100 years to earn that amount to equal CEO Barbara Rentler’s 2023 compensation of $18.1 million. A year ago, it took the average worker 1,137 years to equal a CEO’s salary.

[Consumidores dejan menos propinas a meseros, estilistas y choferes por la inflación, según encuesta]

25 women

Of the 341 CEOs surveyed in AP’s annual compensation survey, only 25 are women. While this is the largest number of women on the list since the survey began in 2011, the numbers haven’t changed much. The second highest number was 21 women in 2017.

$17.6 million versus $16.3 million

Average pay for female executives rose 21% to $17.6 million. That’s a bigger increase than men saw: their average salaries rose 12.2% to $16.3 million.

162 million

Overall, Broadcom Inc. CEO Hock Tan topped the AP survey with a salary package worth about $162 million.

[Caen los contratos de venta de viviendas firmados durante abril]

Broadcom granted Tan shares worth $160.5 million on October 31, 2022, for the company’s 2023 fiscal year. Tan is given the opportunity to earn up to 1 million shares starting in fiscal 2025, according to a securities filing, as long as Broadcom shares meet certain targets and he remains CEO for five years.

$30.3 million

Lisa Su, CEO and chairman of chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices, was the highest-paid CEO in the AP survey for the fifth straight year in fiscal 2023, bringing in total compensation of $30.3 million, equal to his compensation package from the previous year. His ranking rose to 21 out of 25 overall.

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Su received a base salary of $1.2 million and a performance bonus of more than $1.4 million. The bulk of his collection was $21.8 million in stock awards.


Many companies have responded to shareholder calls to link CEO pay more closely to performance. As a result, a large percentage of pay packages consists of stock awards, which the CEO often cannot collect for years unless the company achieves certain goals, usually a higher stock price, higher market value, or better operating profits.

Average stock awards are up about 11% in the past year, compared to a 2.7% increase in bonuses.