Home > Uncategorized > Lavish CEO pay doesn’t work as intended: study – Bottom Line

Lavish CEO pay doesn’t work as intended: study – Bottom Line

October 17, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

The arms race in CEO pay doesn’t help performance or retention, according to a new study.

Outsized CEO pay has been a bone of contention for shareholders and a flashpoint for public discontent, but was always justified with the conventional wisdom that if a company doesn’t pay its top brass top dollar, they’ll go somewhere where they can earn more.

Charles Elson and Craig Ferrere, director and fellow, respectively, at the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware, took aim at this long-held theory in a new paper, as reported by the New York Times last weekend.

“The problem is the standard practice of benchmarking pay to that of peers,” the two wrote.

To determine how much to pay a CEO, corporate compensation committees look at how much the chiefs of similar companies earn, which has the result of lumping together all CEO talent into one pool. Elson and Ferrere argued that expertise in management isn’t the same, and isn’t as good, as having a deep base of knowledge in one particular industry.

Many of the skills that make a chief executive successful don’t translate to another company. “The theoretical underpinning of [peer grouping] became the notion of transferability,” Elson said. “That was false. The superstar theory of the CEO failed, and if transferability failed, the peer system has to fail.”

via Lavish CEO pay doesn’t work as intended: study – Bottom Line.

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