You don’t always get what you pay for in corporate America. The chief executive officer position has now become synonymous with multimillion dollar paydays, and many firms are more than willing to award top executives with exorbitant pay packages, but are shareholders getting their money’s worth?
The nation’s best-paid executives do not have an impressive track record. According to a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies, almost 40 percent of the highest-paid CEOs over the past two decades were bailed out, fired, or in charge of companies that paid fines or settlements over fraud-related issues. In fact, 22 percent of the CEOs included received taxpayer bailouts or witnessed their companies go under after the financial meltdown in 2008.
“Our analysis reveals widespread poor performance within America’s elite CEO circles,” the report says. “Chief executives performing poorly — and blatantly so — have consistently populated the ranks of our nation’s top-paid CEOs over the last two decades.”
Shareholders can overlook a great deal of compensation, but only if rising stock prices justify the payouts. Here’s a look at some of the biggest disappointments on Wall Street when considering stock performance under relatively new leadership. Some of these executives joined a struggling company, but shareholders are still waiting for returns.