3 Unusual Case Studies In The World Of Executive Compensation

Posted: June 7, 2022

Stories from the world of an executive compensation consultant can sometimes get a bit repetitive. Top CEOs make a lot of money, the compensation packages get larger each year, and most of this money is paid out in stock options. If you’ve heard one story, you’ve heard them all. However, every now and then something happens that’s a little bit out of the ordinary. In this article, we’ll take a look at three unusual case studies in the world of executive compensation. Former Hormel CEO Runs For U.S. House Jeff Ettinger is a former CEO of the food processing giant Hormel Foods. Now, he’s running for the U.S. House of Representatives for southern Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District. What makes this an unusual case study is that Jeff is running as a Democrat. But, he spent several years leading an enormous food processing company which is an industry that’s notorious for having a poor ​​environmental, labor, and animal welfare record. These are all issues that Democrats care deeply about. On paper, Jeff seems like a no-brainer candidate to run as a Republican. People doubted that he would succeed as a Democrat, but so far he is trending well. In fact, people are starting to see him as an ideal crossover candidate that could help bring both parties together. 3 Hollywood CEOs Earn 9 Figures It’s not uncommon for top executives to bring home hefty compensation packages each year. In fact, the average CEO pay is around $20 million. But, what is unusual is for a CEO to take home 9 figures. That’s 100 million or more for just one year of work. In 2021, three Hollywood CEOs saw their stars align to earn this enormous sum of money. The three CEOs were Endeavor’s Ari Emanuel, Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav, and Amazon’s Andy Jassy. For Ari Emanuel, it was helping his company go public that earned him 9 figures. For David Zaslav, it was overseeing the merger of Warner Bros and Discovery. Zaslav also signed a new employment agreement that put him in charge of the newly-formed company. As for Jassy, he was promoted to Amazon CEO which came with a $212.7 million pay package tied to a stock grant. One CEO Took A Pay Cut To Boost Employees' Salaries These days, most news stories revolve around how much money top CEOs are making. Stories about executive pay decreases are almost impossible to find. Except for one. Gravity Payment’s Dan Price cut his salary to just $1 million while raising each employee's salary to $70,000. Dan was inspired to do this after taking a hike with one of his employees. After hearing that she was struggling to make ends meet in Seattle on $40,000, Dan decided to make a change. Hopefully, other CEOs follow his lead. To learn more about maximizing executive compensation, visit our Contact Page, or contact us directly by email at fglassner@veritasecc.com or by phone at 415-618-6060.