COOs in Every Industry See Pay Declines
Having knocked out CEO and CFO pay, Equilar’s third report in the C-Suite lineup focuses on the S&P 1500′s Chief Operating Officers. While the median CEO and CFO saw their total pay fall between 2008 and 2009, no C-Suite group has taken a hit like that given to COOs, who saw their pay go down in every industry. Even in the Utilities industry, where they’re paid the most, COO pay was down about three percent. Companies seem to be addressing some of the damage by awarding bigger bonuses: the median bonus was up 14.5 percent in 2009, from $350K to $400K. But with more than a third (34.9 percent) not receiving any bonus at all, 2009 hasn’t been a banner year for a good chunk of the COO population.
In general, the COO data for 2009 was consistent with what we’ve seen for CEOs and CFOs: pay down, bonuses up, pay-for-performance fairly intact, and 2009 equity awards making up for the majority of 2008 equity awards that are still underwater. One odd change: unlike every other study, where the first and second quartile of COOs by company performance saw bonus leaps, the second quartile in the COO study actually saw its bonuses go down 7.8 percent, while the third quartile’s COOs saw bonuses that rose 20.5 percent. Sounds like a few companies need to show a little more bonus love to their stronger-than-average performers– and a few other companies need to show a little less love to below-average execs. To request the full COO report, click here.