AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, for his annual efforts at the helm of America’s largest labor federation, makes four times the pay that goes to the federation’s typical employee.
Michael Jeffries, the CEO at Abercrombie & Fitch, has been making close to 1,000 times the pay that goes to his typical employee. A good many shareholders at the giant retailer seem to feel their CEO makes too much.
Last April, in advisory “say on pay” balloting, an Abercrombie shareholder majority voted against their company’s CEO pay plan. Abercrombie’s corporate directors would, in response, rush to show they feel the shareholder pain — by limiting how much free travel CEO Jeffries can take on the Abercrombie jet.
In 2009, the value of this free personal travel perk topped over $800,000. Jeffries must now reimburse the company for any personal travel over $200,000.
So is a new day on CEO pay finally dawning in America’s corporate boardrooms? Not exactly, suggests the just-released new 2011 edition of Pay Watch, the AFL-CIO’s energetically informative executive compensation Web site.
Abercrombie CEO Jeffries did lose, the new Pay Watch points out, over a half-million in corporate jet perks. But the Abercrombie board, in exchange for the perk limit, agreed to up the total Jeffries take-home by an additional $4 million!
Incredibly revealing anecdotes like this Abercrombie outrage abound in the new AFL-CIO Pay Watch, the best one yet. But Pay Watch does an equally effective job placing these anecdotes in a broader perspective — and, in the process, thoroughly debunks the excuses and justifications for excessive executive pay that spout regularly from the lips of CEOs and their handlers.