A few weeks ago I listed the media company CEOs whose pay is way out of whack with other execs in the same company. But if you think that all media chiefs receive such special treatment, then you also need to look at this list: Here are the CEOs whose 2011 compensation packages were more in line with their colleagues. They were below the threshold that makes corporate governance experts worried — typically when the top dog is paid more than 3 times the median for the other executives whose pay must be listed in the proxy statement sent to shareholders and the SEC. The tallies usually include the top 5 execs. As my previous posts explained, a growing body of research (including this study, this one, and this one) shows that companies with out-of-whack pay over time often suffer from problems including groupthink that can result in bad decisionmaking and a low stock price.
On the list below you’ll find CEOs whose pay doesn’t raise a red flag on that one criterion. But let’s be clear: We aren’t saying that they are fairly or unfairly paid. Indeed, many governance experts have criticized pay packages for some of the people here — including Comcast’s Brian Roberts, News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch, and Netflix’ Reed Hastings. The numbers simply show that the boards of directors seem to recognize that multiple people deserve the credit for the company’s performance. (more…)