The 'enraging' salaries of America's top execs: By the numbers

Corporate bigwigs like Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman got big pay raises from 2009 to 2010. The rest of us, not so much  

In 2010, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman pocketed $84.5 million for 9 months work, according to a recent report.
(Image credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The good times are here again... at least for top corporate executives. The New York Times reports that high-ranking executives at 200 of the biggest U.S. companies saw their pay increase an average of 23 percent from 2009 to 2010, bringing them ever nearer to pre-recession earnings. Those big paychecks didn't trickle down to the rest of the workforce, with the average American employee seeing less than a 1 percent increase in pay. Here, a brief guide, by the numbers, to the "enraging" salaries of America's top executives:

$10.8 million

Median pay in 2010 for top executives at 200 large companies, according to an Equilar report commissioned by The New York Times. "Total C.E.O. pay hasn't quite returned to its heady, pre-recession levels — but it certainly seems headed there," says Prandyna Joshi in The New York Times.

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$7.7 million

Median executive pay package in 2009, a 17 percent decline from 2008


Percentage increase in cash bonuses from 2009 to 2010. Executives' big paydays were due, in part, to the return of cash bonuses, says Equilar's Aaron Boyd in The New York Times.

$84.5 million

Pay package, for nine months of work in 2010, of Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, the highest paid exec in the report

$76.1 million

Pay package in 2010 for Occidental Petroleum CEO Ray R. Irani, a 143 percent raise from the previous year

$56.9 million

Salary in 2010 for CBS' Leslie Moonves, a 32 percent raise over the previous year


Average weekly income of the average American worker in late 2010, just a 0.5 percent raise over the previous year. "It's not as if most workers are getting fat raises," says Joshi. After inflation, they're actually making less.


Percentage increase in profits for American businesses in the fourth quarter of 2010, "the fastest growth in more than 60 years"


Percentage increase, since the recovery began, in the amount businesses are spending on employees, according to the Commerce Report


Percentage increase in the amount they're spending on equipment and software. "The economy is producing as much as it was before the downturn, but with seven million fewer jobs," says Catherine Rampell in The New York Times.

13.9 million

Number of unemployed Americans as of May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics


Unemployment rate, in percent, as of May

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, New York, New York Times (2)(3)(4)

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