Now you can feel even better about shopping here. Unless you're in a union.
As we’ve discussed, the SEC’s much-delayed pay-ratio rule has been the source of much whining and kvetching from those companies who say it will be way too hard and way too expensive to figure out exactly what three-to-six figure multiple of their median employees’ salary the CEO gets. But some companies aren’t waiting for Mary Jo White to misallocate her resources in this way; they just can’t wait for people to know. Unsurprisingly, these braggarts are primarily those whose pay ratios make them look pretty good, like Whole Foods, which manages a nifty 1:39,853 ratio by paying founder John Mackey $1 a year.
The companies that are disclosing the information voluntarily don’t necessarily have the highest CEO pay ratios. The CEOs of the companies that disclosed the information voluntarily did not have salaries higher than $8.5 million….
The Economic Policy Institute, the left-leaning D.C. think tank, estimates that the chief executives of the largest 350 U.S. firms made 303.4 times the average worker’s pay last year. The AFL-CIO union says at S&P 500 companies the ratio of CEO pay to that of the typical worker is 373-to-1.
NorthWestern Corp. can’t quite match Whole Foods, but it boasts a rather fetching 24:1 ratio. So just how many millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of man-hours did it take to come up with that nugget for the annual report?
“It takes one employee four hours to calculate” the median pay for its 1,600 full-time employees in the U.S.
Companies Disclose Pay Ratio Before SEC’s Final Rule [WSJ CFO Journal]