Does Stakeholder Outrage Affect Executive Compensation?

One-third of S&P 1500 CEOs reduced their base salary in 2020 as the onset of the coronavirus pandemic caused widespread economic disruption. These pay cuts were often accompanied by press releases that emphasized notions of CEOs “leading from the front,” “being all in this together,” and “sharing the pain” of the pandemic with employees. In a new article, we document that a more complex adjustment to CEO pay occurred during this time.  In a controlled analysis of executive compensation, we find that, while many CEO base salaries declined during 2020, the total compensation for all CEOs increased by nearly … Read more