Leading technology executives from Silicon Valley’s top firms were paid $2.6 billion in 2005, the third-largest payout ever tracked and the largest dollar amount since the tech boom of 2000 and 2001, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
That number is based on the newspaper’s “What the Boss Makes” survey.
The news comes at a time when the subject of executive pay has been getting a lot of attention, with shareholder activists, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), union pension funds and others leading the charge to make the payment process more transparent, the Mercury News reports.
Atop the list of highest-paid tech execs is Omid Kordestani, Google’s senior vice president, global sales and business development, with 2005 compensation of $289 million.
Brandon Rees, the AFL-CIO investment office assistant director, told Mercury News, “Executive compensation is the last unaddressed corporate scandal.”
The SEC is attempting to build some clarity in that process by proposing a number of new policies that would simplify the disclosure of executive pay, according to the Mercury News, and the efforts of reformists have not been for naught. Companies will later this year have to account for the costs of all stock options given to executives and employees, according to the Mercury News.
Also, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America is attempting to require board directors to receive a majority vote to keep their positions instead of a plurality, the Mercury News reports. U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) also presented a bill last fall that would enable shareholders to vote on executive payment and severance packages, according to the Mercury News.
Additional survey results and information can be found online.
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