CEOs of the 50 firms that have laid off the most workers since the onset of the economic crisis took home 42 percent more pay in 2009 than their peers at S&P 500 firms, according to “CEO Pay and the Great Recession,” the 17th in a series of annual Executive Excess reports from the Institute for Policy Studies.
“Our findings illustrate the great unfairness of the Great Recession,” says Sarah Anderson, lead author on the Institute study. “CEOs are squeezing workers to boost short-term profits and fatten their own paychecks.”
The 50 top CEO layoff leaders received $12 million on average in 2009, compared to the S&P 500 average of $8.5 million. Each of the corporations surveyed laid off at least 3,000 workers between November 2008 and April 2010. Seventy-two percent of the firms announced mass layoffs at a time of positive earnings reports.
Highest-Paid “Layoff Leaders”:
- Fred Hassan, Schering-Plough: Hassan received a $33 million golden parachute when his firm merged with Merck in late 2009, while 16,000 workers faced pink slips. Hassan’s total 2009 pay of nearly $50 million could cover the average cost of these workers’ jobless benefits for more than 10 weeks.
- William Weldon, Johnson & Johnson: Weldon took home $25.6 million, more than three times as much as the S&P 500 CEO average, at a time when his firm was slashing 9,000 jobs and facing a massive drug recall scandal.
- Mark Hurd, Hewlett-Packard: While his failure to cover up a relationship with a contractor/erotic film star has been banner news, Hurd’s slashing of 6,400 jobs last year has largely escaped the headlines. After getting the axe himself in August, Hurd added more than $28 million severance to his 2009 pay package of $24.2 million. Sigue leyendo