Study: CEO pay grows at slower pace in '05
Median total compensation at 350 top companies rises nearly 16%, after 41% gain the year before.

NEW YORK ( - The total direct compensation for top corporate CEOs grew by nearly 16 percent last year, a significant increase that was still well below the 41 percent growth of the prior year, according to a survey of 350 major corporations conducted for the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal, in a report for the paper's Monday edition that appeared on its Web site, said the median total direct compensation exceeded $6 million. Total direct compensation includes salaries, bonuses, restricted stock grants, gains from stock option exercises and other long-term incentive payouts, according to the paper.

The paper said total direct compensation for those running the 10 businesses with the highest shareholder returns grew by 51.3 percent to more than $10.2 million. For those 10 CEOs whose shareholders took the biggest hit last year, the news was expectedly bad those 10 suffered an average 72.5 percent drop in compensation to less than $1,6 million, according to the Journal.

By way of comparison, overall U.S. wages and benefits rose 3.2 percent in 2005, the Journal said.

The Journal said the survey was conducted by Mercer Human Resource Consulting, which examined proxy statements of the companies.


Click here for more on the SEC's efforts toward more transparency in CEO pay disclosure. Top of page

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