Most of us would expect that highly-paid CEOs are running well performing companies. But as Fast Company Co. Exist writer Ben Schiller says, the opposite may be true.
MSCI, a corporate governance research group, analyzed the pay of 800 CEOs at 429 publicly traded U.S. companies over a 10-year period up to 2014, and found that the best paid CEOs tend to run the worst-performing companies, while some of the lowest-paid executives oversee the best-performing companies.
If you invested $100 in the companies run by the best-paid 20% of CEOs, you would have seen a total return of $265. If you had invested $100 in the companies run by the worst-paid 20% of CEOs, you would have got back $367.
"Equity incentive awards now comprise 70% or more of total summary CEO pay in the United States, based on our calculations," syas MSCI. "Yet we found little evidence to show a link between the large proportion of pay that such awards represent and long-term company stock performance." CEO pay tends to be assessed based on annual performance, rather than the whole tenure of that person. If a longer period was taken into account, there might be more alignment between remuneration levels and long-term stock performance, the report argues.