ISS Discusses Growing Disapproval of CEO Pay Proposals

For many companies, 2021 signaled a return to normal business after the COVID-19 pandemic upended the economy and significantly disrupted financial forecasts established at the beginning of 2020. Given the difficulty in meeting financial targets set under short- and long-term incentive plans, CEO pay levels remained essentially flat in FY2020 for both S&P 500 and Russell 3000 (excl. S&P 500) companies. Despite the lack of pay increases, investors rejected compensation proposals in Say-on-Pay votes at a historic rate during the 2021 proxy season, with a record 20 companies in the S&P 500 failing to secure majority support for their proposals.

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