S&P 400 CEOs: Slight Pay Bump, Big Bonus Bump
Unlike their counterparts in the S&P 500, who were lamenting a 7.9% slide in their median total pay last week, S&P 400 CEOs have something to be (relatively) happy about: their total pay rose slightly from 2008 to 2009, increasing 1.7% to a median of $3.76 million. They also saw a bonus bump of 11.6%, slightly higher than the S&P 500 bonus pop of 8.5%.
S&P 500 CEOs, however, do have one thing to crow about over their mid-cap peers: the CEOs of the 400 seem to get less money when they do well, and take a bigger hit when they do poorly. The top quartile of S&P 400 CEOs by company performance definitely got a nice reward, with a 66.7% bonus rise, but their peers in the bottom quartile took a hit of 32.6% in their bonus pay. Compare that to an upside of 86.8% and a downside of only 10.3% for S&P 500 CEOs in the same positions, and you have to admit that the air’s a bit nicer up in the large-cap leagues, even if you’re flailing. With Washington crying for blood, we have to admit surprise that the biggest CEOs in the country had bigger bonus upsides and smaller bonus downsides than their smaller-cap peers– aren’t these folks the primary occupants of the spotlight?
The final chapter in the CEO Pay trilogy, the S&P 600, will debut next Wednesday, and we’ll be interested to see if the trend for bigger downsides continues as the stakes get (slightly) smaller. In the meantime, if you’re full of burning questions for the statistical minds behind this epic, consider logging in to Equilar’s CEO Pay Strategies Webinar, also next Wednesday. You can sign up for it here.