The Wall Street Journal has run a yarn about CEOs making huge amounts of cash from their companies. One of the top earners was Apple's Steve Jobs, with $749 million which should be just enough to buy one of his own Macs.
The Journal analysis looked at salaries, bonuses, perks and realised gains on both restricted stock and stock options; it excludes new grants of restricted stock and stock options.
To an outfit like the WSJ, it sees the whole thing as proof that giving CEOs shares in the company makes a lot of sense.
Oracle shareholders saw the value of their stock triple, while shareholders of Apple saw their stock soar nearly 12 times over. But it did mean that there were some anomalies.
While Dell lost 66 percent of the value of their stock during the decade, CEO Michael Dell, brought home $454 million. How did that work?
The WSJ interviewed Jesse Fried, a law professor at Harvard University and co-author of a 2004 book, "Pay Without Performance: The Unfulfilled Promise of Executive Compensation” who told them that the disparity between those CEOs' fortunes and those of their shareholders is "pretty depressing.”
Steven Kaplan, a professor at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, said that in general, "the guys who got the big payoffs deliver."
He used Oracle's Larry Ellison as a case study. ,In the 10 years ended May 31, 2009, the most recent fiscal year for which Oracle has disclosed pay data, its market capitalization nearly tripled, to $98 billion, from $36 billion.
Ellison's 23 per cent of Oracle is valued at roughly $28.8 billion and more than 97 per cent of Ellision's earnings make up his earnings.
But what of Dell who appears to be coining it in while his outfit chews the fat with the bottom feeders.
Dell told the WSJ that Dell's compensation reflected gains on options granted in the 1990s, when Dell's stock price soared. Dell hasn't received a bonus for four years and hasn't been granted stock or stock options for six years. Poor lamb. It might have been because his outfit tanked, but he does seem to still be earning a lot of dosh.