With populist sentiment running high, emboldened shareholders will be pushing for various measures to rein in executive compensation at annual corporate meetings this spring. Among the demands: Eliminate the practice of covering chief executives' tax liabilities, stop payment of benefits to heirs after an executive's death, and require executives to retain a substantial portion of equity awards for at least two years after retirement. More than anything, however, the economy has reversed the upward march of executive compensation. Median pay for chief executives fell by 6.8 percent in 2008 compared with the previous year, the first time in six years that compensation declined, according to a study published yesterday by Equilar, an information services firm. Below are the median payouts for executives of Standard & Poor's 500 companies included in the study. For chief executives in the financial services sector, compensation fell by 38 percent.
SOURCE: Equilar | The Washington Post - April 8, 2009