Fairness in Salaries

Will outrage over soaring executive pay lead to reform?


Corporate chiefs are on the hot seat nowadays as the public reels with each report of a record-setting executive pay package. With salary and stock deals in the range of $80 million at companies such as Time Warner, H.J. Heinz and Coca-Cola, average wage earners beset by economic recession are reacting with anger and amazement. Disgruntled shareholders are descending on annual meetings to charge that officers are even being rewarded when company performance is poor. Defenders say high salaries are needed to attract top talent and to give executives an incentive to make tough decisions. But that hasn't stopped many boards of directors from rethinking methods of setting executive pay. Congress and federal regulators are also entering the fray.

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