A Few Executive Compensation Milestones
Executive Compensation Corporation
Highest documented salary found prior to 1900: $75,000 paid to the president of New York Life Insurance Company, one Mr. Beers, in the 1890's.
1904-1914: average yearly salary of chief executives of 400 largest manufacturing companies was $9,958.
1927: Chief executive of National City Bank of New York1, Charles E. Mitchell, receives pay of $1,156,230.
1928: Chief executive of National City Bank of New York, Charles E. Mitchell, receives pay of $1,417,150.
1929: Chief executive of National City Bank of New York, Charles E. Mitchell, receives pay of $1,375,535.
1929: President of Bethlehem Steel, Eugene Grace, is paid salary and bonus of $1,635,753.
1930: President of American Tobacco Co., George W. Hill, is paid compensation of $1,283,978.
1931: Bethlehem Steel is sued in first stockholder challenge of major company executive pay.
1933: average meeting fee paid to outside directors = $20.
1942-1945: first salary controls imposed by U.S. government, to control wartime inflation.
1946: average meeting fee paid to outside directors = $50.
1951-1953: second salary controls imposed, to control inflation during Korean conflict.
1951: first annual survey of executive compensation published by the American Management Association.
1960: average meeting fee paid to outside directors = $100.
1974: Michel Bergerac receives sign-on bonus of $1.5 million to leave ITT Europe and join Revlon.
1977: Archie R. McCardell, President of International Harvester, is highest paid industrial co. CEO, at $1,077,000.
1978: David Mahoney, chairman of Norton Simon, Inc., is highest paid industrial co. CEO, at $2,037,055.
1979: Rawleigh Warner Jr., chairman of Mobil Oil Corp., is highest paid industrial company executive, at $3.6 million.
1979: First golden parachute agreements are deployed, by Reliance Electric Company in advance of its acquisition by Exxon Corporation.
1982: Bendix gives William Agee and 15 other officers golden parachutes, in face of takeover threats by United Technologies Corp. and Martin Marietta Corp.
1983: William Agee resigns from Allied Corp. one week after Allied acquires Bendix. Receives golden parachute payments estimated to be in excess of $4 million.
1988: Gerald Tsai, former chairman of Primerica Corp., receives golden parachute payment estimated at $27.8 million following takeover by Commercial Credit Inc.
1988: F. Ross Johnson, CEO of RJR Nabisco, receives parachute payment estimated at $14 million following takeover by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.
1 Believed to be a predecessor of Citibank.