It pays to be CEO. Even in 1965, chief executive officers were pulling in $843,000 a year, and their compensation has only skyrocketed since.
According to a new report from the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute (EPI), CEO pay peaked in 2000 at $20.7 million (in 2016 dollars) and, in 2016, "CEOs in America's largest firms made an average of $15.6 million in compensation, or 271 times the annual average pay of the typical worker."
That's "5.33 times greater than wages of the top 0.1 percent of wage earners," the EPI reports.
The EPI looked at the 350 largest U.S. firms and used two measures of compensation: One measure includes stock options realized, while the other includes value of stock options granted. The options-realized measure "reflects the value of options exercised that CEOs report on their Form W-2 wages and is what they actually earned in a given year," the EPI explains. The second measure "includes the value of the stock options granted in the relevant year and is not influenced by CEOs' decisions to cash or not cash in their options during that year."