At publicly held St. Louis companies, chief executives’ average pay rose by 20 percent last year, largely because their companies delivered higher profits and rising stock prices. The median large-company CEO in St. Louis earned $5.4 million last year, or about 125 times the median wage in metropolitan St. Louis.
Salaries amounted to just 14 percent of St. Louis CEOs’ compensation last year. The annual bonus — which usually is closely tied to the company’s profitability — adds almost 18 percent. And it’s in those components, such as stock and options, where the link between pay and performance has been tightened considerably.
Another difference between the CEO and the average worker is that most CEOs now have to conduct a referendum every year on whether they’re paid appropriately.