Would We Ever See This Today?


Even CEOs think CEOs are overpaid? – Yahoo! News

From a recent survey:

Sixty-four percent of top executives view CEO compensation as excessive, according to survey released on Tuesday.

It's something we've often talked about here, excessive CEO pay, particularly the outrageous sums paid to those who fail or get fired.

I stumbled across another article that mentioned George Romney, the father of Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, former governor of my home state (Michigan), and also former CEO of American Motors. In 1960, the elder Romney refused a $100,000 bonus:

Mr. Romney had previously told the company's board that no executive needed to make more than $225,000 a year (about $1.4 million in today's dollars), a spokesman for American Motors explained at the time, and the bonus would have put him above that threshold.

Here is the original NY Times story. Quite a contrast, isn't it? Has any executive in recent years taken a similar stand? I wouldn't count CEO's like Apple's Steve Jobs or Cisco's John Chambers who take $1 salaries, since they take their compensation in stock and perks.

It's keeping with the Toyota “respect for people” principle to not have such a huge gap between the pay of workers and top managers. Toyota's leaders are very “underpaid” (the CEO makes about $1 million) at least compared to the leaders of other large corporations.

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


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