Now that the Securities & Exchange Commission has required publicly traded companies to disclose CEO perks in their proxy filings' compensation disclosures, we shareholders are privy to details about our CEOs' significant "others." "Other compensation," that is.
Other compensation includes compensation beyond base salary, bonus, and stock-related compensation, which of course, includes some of the crazy perquisites, or perks, that make some shareholders fighting mad.
The website Network World rolled up its sleeves and checked into tech companies' CEO pay and perks last year, and it offered up a handy slideshow. Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) CEO Steve Jobs comes across like an angel with his $1 salary -- that's literally all he got. On the other hand, as I noted last year, Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG ) Eric Schmidt, another guy with a $1 salary, got nearly $500,000 for personal security.
The slideshow pointed out quite a few CEOs who racked up millions in extras. A few that jumped out at me as particularly interesting were Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S ) , Qwest Communications (NYSE: Q ) , and Dell Computer (Nasdaq: DELL ) .
Personal security is a biggie in the breakdowns of "other compensation" (but, of course, be on the lookout for fun stuff like corporate aircraft usage). For example, more than a million in Michael Dell's significant "other" falls under the "security" sub-category, which actually seems like a pretty common (and pricey) perk.
What the heck are these guys so afraid of, that shareholders should foot the bill for "other compensation" like security expenses? I've come up with some possible ideas:
- Killer mold.
- A group of terrorists kind of like the ones in that movie that time, you know, with Bruce Willis.
- Grey goo, rogue black holes, cosmic ray blast from a supernova.
- Roombas gone haywire.
- Those other people in the house that might be ghosts.
- Anybody who's ever been in a Six Flags commercial.
- Communists, clowns, or Communists dressed as clowns.
Feel free to share your own silly ideas on what the heck might scare these guys the most in the comment boxes below. Or, feel free to share if you just think I'm mean for thinking maybe these guys should pay for their security themselves.
And of course, if you're interested in the topic of CEO compensation, remember the data's always in your companies' proxy filings, available for free from www.sec.gov. When push comes to shove, let's just hope your CEO's worth it -- and maybe knows a little tae kwon do.