Top executives’ pay may seem like an escalator that only goes up, but the downward side of the staircase sees traffic, too.
Among 33 publicly traded companies based in the St. Louis area, 18 paid their chief executives more in 2016 than in 2015, while 15 paid them less.
The decline often matched the company’s performance. Aegion, a pipeline repair company based in Chesterfield, cited “challenging market conditions” in explaining why CEO Charles Gordon’s pay fell 23 percent to $2.5 million.
At other companies, the pay decline is a matter of timing. David Hatfield at shaver and sunscreen maker Edgewell Personal Care got a whopping $7.9 million worth of stock and options when he became CEO in 2015. Since he didn’t get a similar award this year, his reported pay fell 74 percent.
Overall, the CEOs of St. Louis had a good year. For the 28 men and women who headed their companies during all of 2015 and 2016, median pay rose 22 percent to $3.7 million.
The compensation packages range from the nearly $22 million earned by Centene CEO Michael Neidorff to the $465,173 paid to Timothy Boyd by ski operator Peak Resorts.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch