We’re Not In It For The Money: Executive Pay Caps Don’t Send CEOs Running

Despite analysts proclaiming that executive pay caps at the companies that took federal bailout money would drive the talented executives away, most have stayed put, HRE Online reports.

Of the 104 senior executives at AIG, GMAC Financial, General Motors, Chrysler and its auto financing unit whose pay was limited, 88 of those executives, or 84%, are still with the same company, according to a recently released report by Kenneth Feinberg, the federal government’s special master for executive compensation, aka the “Compensation Czar.”

“That’s the most important statistic I think — namely that about 85 percent of the individuals who had their pay set are still at their desk working for these very five same companies,” Feinberg said in a radio interview recently.

What does this mean? Well, some experts say it means nothing: “We all know numbers can be made to say anything,” Rose Marie Orens of Compensation Advisory Partners told HRE Online.

Others suggest it wouldn’t have been such a bad thing if the execs did leave: “”We have to remember that no one is indispensable…and we can’t allow top talent to hold the company hostage,” Todd Gershkowitz, senior vice president at Farient Advisors, another executive compensation consultancy, said.

This stuff may seem worlds away from our media world, but pay issues affect everyone (especially when they’re being paid with our tax dollars..). Besides, the fact that most of the execs stuck around means one of two things: that they had nowhere else to go (the rather pessimistic view espoused by the HRE Online article) or that people, even when getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars yearly, still go to work for more than a paycheck.

photo: Unhindered by Talent