Feeling down after your boss scrimped on your bonus this year? You’re not alone. In an early look at this year’s proxy filings by compensation number crunchers Equilar, CEO bonuses were down, too. For the 108 CEOs who have filed proxies and whose fiscal years ended after Aug. 31, 2007, bonuses were down a median 4.5%, compared with a 27.1% increase for the same executives the year before. The data represents a wide base of industries, says Equilar spokesperson Alexander Cwirko-Godycki, who expects the bonus fall to accelerate as the proxy season goes on and more financial-services firm chiefs weigh down the average. “It could get a little worse,” says Cwirko-Godycki.
“Little,” of course, being the operative word. Five percent is hardly a big drop considering how high such bonuses (currently at an eye-popping $823,309 for this sample group) have risen. And CEOs aren’t exactly feeling much pain: On top of those bonuses and all the other perks and retirement plans CEOs receive, the Equilar study showed that CEO salaries continued to rise last year, from a median $729,293 in 2006 for this sample to $791,670 in 2007.
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