By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Executive pay in 2010 was up as much as 40 percent in some cases, even as Americans’ approval of mega-corporations on Wall Street plunged to its lowest levels yet, data released this week reveals.
In a study first examined by The Guardian, U.S. executive pay skyrocketed in 2010, up 40 percent. America’s highest paid executive, John Hammergren, CEO of health insurance company McKesson, earned more than $145 million in compensation for a single year’s work.
Corporate governance group GMI Ratings also found that the overall median for executive profits on stock options also rose in 2010, up 70 percent thanks in large part to many corporations seeing sizable profits as the economy recovered from a near dead-stop in 2008.
Meanwhile, Americans’ opinions of mega-corporations and Wall Street in general could hardly be lower. A survey released Thursday by the Pew Research Center found that even among Republicans, often the most pro-business political party in the U.S., a slim majority (53 percent) agree that wealthy people and large corporations have too much power.