Pandemic Puts Booming CEO Pay Under the Microscope
March 19, 2021
Among the drastic changes that COVID-19 has brought to businesses in the last year is one that swings from left field: CEO pay. While many companies adjusted compensation in 2020 in response to the pandemic, CEO pay was largely altered at the base level. These changes did not include bonuses and stock rewards, which often make up the large disparity between CEO and employee salary packages. “There were changes related to one-time hits from the pandemic, and then there was a separate phenomenon around heightened social and justice issues, and companies looking to align themselves with what consumers want to see,” said Diligent President Lisa Edwards. As social justice issues hit front pages, demands for CEO pay adjustments have risen. News from this week ignited the demands: “Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced legislation that would tax companies believed to be overcompensating top brass, while Starbucks (SBUX) shareholders voted against the company’s CEO pay proposal — a rare move that indicates some think Kevin Johnson is overpaid.”
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