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Nine U.S. CEOs paid more than 800 times as much as their workers

Staff writer ▼ | August 8, 2015
The CEOs of nine S&P 500 companies were paid more than 800 times as much as median employees at their firms in 2014, according to a study released by USA Today and
Study   S&P 500 companies
The biggest gap was at media giant Discovery Communications, where CEO David Zaslav received $156 million last year, nearly 2,300 times the company average of $68,387.

Next come the co-chief executive officers of fast-food chain Chipotle, Steven Ells and Montgomery Moran, who took home roughly 1,500 times as much as the average employee’s annual salary of $18,980.

The bosses of CVS, Starbucks, Target, CBS, Time Warner Cable and Walmart were all paid at a rate more than 800 times greater than the median salary for the firm.

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday approved a rule requiring companies to disclose the ratio of CEO compensation to that of an average employee in compliance with a provision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act aimed at tightening oversight of the financial sector.

The new regulation, which allows for some exceptions, is both “flexible and faithful to the terms and objective of the statute,” SEC Chair Mary Jo White said.

Fifty years ago, CEOs at the largest U.S. corporations were paid around 20 times as much as an average employee, but by 2013 the ratio had grown to nearly 300, the Economic Policy Institute said in a recent paper.

The AFL-CIO says that an analysis of information in its pay database shows that CEOs were paid an average of $13.5 million last year, 373 times the $36,000 earned by the average nonsupervisory worker.