CEO median pay rose 16% between in 2005; Top CEO Earned $295M

According to the Corporate Library analysis of the compensation of nearly 1,400 CEOs, the group's median total compensation rose 16% between 2004 and 2005. A year earlier, CEOs got a rise of 30% in total compensation, which includes salary, bonus, perks, exercised stock options and other long-term incentive pay.

Not surprisingly, the top dogs in the S&P 500 companies brought in the most. Their median total compensation was roughly $7 million. Of that, their median base salary was close to $1 million. 

In the 12 companies with the most highly paid CEOs, the pay-for-performance link is hard to find in eight of them, given that they have underperformed their peer group even as their CEOs banked somewhere between $83 million and $295 million in fiscal year 2005 alone.

Top 5 Most Highly Paid CEOs in 2005

CEO Company Total Compensation
Barry Diller IAC/InterActive $295M
Richard D. Fairbank Capital One Financial $249M
Eugene M. Isenberg Nabors Industries $203M
Terry S. Semel Yahoo! $183M
Bruce E. Karatz KB Home $156M
Source:The Corporate Library

The 10 most highly paid CEOs last year hailed from IAC/InterActive, Capital One, Nabors Industries, Yahoo!, KB Home, Countrywide Financial, Cendant (now known as Avis Budget Group), Abercrombie & Fitch, Lehman Brothers, and Valero Energy. But of those, only four companies -- Autodesk, Yahoo!, Valero Energy and Countrywide -- outperformed their peers in the past five years. 

On an individual basis,  the most dramatic was at Marvell Technology. The pay bump for CEO Sehat Sutardja: 14,000%, thanks to a $75 million profit in exercised stock options. 

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