Of the 100 S&P 500 companies with the lowest median employee wages, 51 will have bent their own rules by 2020 to pump up executives’ salaries, according to a new study.
The study of the Institute for Policy Studies found that at those 51 companies, average CEO pay rose 29 percent last year to $ 15.3 million, while employee wages fell 2 percent.
The report found that CEOs at the companies earned an average of 830 times more than employees, and the left-wing thank you calls for measures to contain the extreme wage differentials, including a tax based on the magnitude of the difference between CEO and employee wages. .
While many CEOs during the pandemic last year publicly pledged to make pay cuts during the pandemic, the study found that some were quietly making up for the difference with bonuses, in some cases while cutting workers’ wages and firing workers.
Auto parts manufacturer Aptiv ‘manipulated bonus statistics’ to increase CEO Kevin Clark’s compensation (left) to $ 31.3 million, while Chipotle ‘inflated’ CEO Brian Niccol’s salary to $ 38 million
According to the study, auto parts manufacturer Aptiv has the largest pay gap between CEO and average employee.
“By manipulating bonus statistics, the board of directors increased CEO Kevin Clark’s compensation to $ 31.3 million, 5,294 times the company’s global median pay of $ 5,906,” the authors said.
At Chipotle Mexican Grill, CEO Brian R. Niccol made $ 38 million in 2020 – a 136 percent increase over his 2019 compensation, and 2,898 times the company’s median wage of $ 13,127.
“The board inflated its bonus by throwing out the poor financial results of the shutdown and excluding some COVID-19-related costs from its performance review,” the study said.
A Chipotle spokeswoman told DailyMail.com in a statement, “Brian Niccol’s annual compensation package is based on a competitive analysis of CEO compensation levels within our peer group and is designed to pay for performance.”
Under Brian’s leadership, Chipotle’s stock has grown more than 300% and its market cap has grown by $ 30.6 billion, from $ 8.2 billion in early 2018 to $ 38.8 billion by the end of 2020, ” the statement said. .
A Chipotle spokeswoman told DailyMail.com in a statement, “ Brian Niccol’s annual compensation package is based on a competitive analysis of CEO pay levels within our peer group and is designed to pay for performance ” (photo in file)
The company pointed out that without the one-time bonus paid to Niccol last year, the CEO’s salary was only 1,129 times that of the average employee.
On Monday, Chipotle announced that it is increasing restaurant wages, resulting in an average hourly wage of $ 15 by the end of June.
Michael Witynski, the new CEO of Dollar Tree, received a bonus of approximately $ 1.5 million, bringing his total compensation to $ 11.3 million
The company says 84 percent of its employees are 25 or younger, and the company offers many opportunities for rapid progress.
At the discount chain Dollar Tree, executives did not meet their 2020 bonus targets, the Dollar Tree board awarded them limited shares of roughly the same value, the study found.
Michael Witynski, the new CEO of Dollar Tree, who had been in the top spot for less than six months in 2020, received a bonus worth approximately $ 1.5 million, bringing his total compensation to $ 11.3 million.
That’s 715 times the wages for the average company employee, a part-time U.S. store associate who earned $ 15,816, the study found.
Likewise, Coca-Cola’s top executives failed to meet their bonus targets last year, but Coca-Cola’s board gave them all the bonuses anyway, according to the study.
For James Quincey, Coca-Cola’s CEO, that $ 960,000 bonus, combined with new stock-based rewards, put his total compensation package above $ 18 million, more than 1,600 times the company’s typical wages, the study said. .
Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey’s $ 960,000 bonus, combined with new stock-based incentives, brought his total compensation package above $ 18 million
In December 2020, Coca-Cola announced plans to cut approximately 2,200 jobs, or 17 percent of the workforce. Coke profit fell by 13 percent last year. About 1,200 of the layoffs will affect American workers.
A Coca-Cola spokesperson referred an investigation by DailyMail.com to the company’s annual statement to shareholders, which stated that the board of directors “ assessed management’s performance in light of COVID-19, taking into account performance against predetermined objectives, performance against peers, overall health of the organization and leadership in the face of unexpected challenges. ‘
The statement added that the special one-time bonus “was appropriate based on improved performance trends in the second half of the year.”
Dollar Tree and Aptiv spokespersons did not immediately respond to a request for comment from DailyMail.com on Tuesday.