Major Ohio CEOs make 306 times more than typical employee
Posted December 10, 2020 in Press Releases
Fifty-four of Ohio’s largest employers paid their CEOs a median of 306 times what they paid the typical employee in 2019, according to data reported under the Dodd-Frank Act.
The federal law requires publicly traded companies provide the ratio of CEO pay to the median employee — the person whose pay falls in the middle of all employees. Fifty-four of the top 100 Ohio employers filed reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). With an average CEO salary of $14.6 million, 39 corporations paid CEOs more than 200 times what they paid the median worker, according to Policy Matters’ analysis. CEOs at 28 corporations were paid least 300 times as much. More than a quarter of employers paid CEOs more than 500 times as much. Three companies had pay ratios of over 1,000 to one.
Meanwhile, 16 of the employers reported median pay of less than $25,000 — below the federal poverty level this year for a family of four. Together, these corporations employed nearly 165,000 Ohioans last year, before COVID-19’s mass layoffs.
“Whether a janitor keeping the office clean and safe or a Fortune 500 CEO cutting deals in the board room, it takes everyone to make an enterprise run,” said Policy Matters Researcher Michael Shields. “Many Ohioans are risking their health to perform critical jobs. Many others have been laid off. Meanwhile, CEOs at major Ohio employers are insulated from the ways their workforce experiences the pandemic.”
New Albany-based Abercrombie & Fitch pays CEO Fran Horowitz 3,250 times more than the typical employee, who works part time for about $10 to $11 an hour. The retail chain furloughed the majority of its in-store workers and may permanently shutter many flagship stores. L Brands, which paid now-retired CEO Les Wexner 248 times the typical employee, laid off 850 people since March, including 488 in Central Ohio. Kroeger CEO Rodney McMullin took home $21.1 million last year, for a ratio of 789-to-1. Initially the grocery store chain paid essential frontline workers an extra $2 per hour, but that expired in June. McMullin recently announced hazard pay cuts for frontline employees, but said his pay would remain steady.
Corporations are increasing CEO pay as compared to their typical employees. Among the 54 reporting companies, 30 increased the CEO to median employee pay ratio. A growing share of companies are paying CEOs 200 times more than the typical employee, up from 55% in 2018 to 67% last year. Nationally, CEOs were paid 21 times as much as a typical worker in 1965, 61 times as much in 1989, and 320 times more by last year.
“Corporations are increasing CEO pay faster than the economy is growing, while holding down pay for most workers,” said Shields. “This is not about productivity or skills: It’s about CEOs’ ability to set their own pay. Policymakers don’t have to stand for it. Leaders at all levels of government can reduce rampant inequality by increasing taxes on corporations that pay CEOs excessively compared to typical employees. State and local purchasing policies can prioritize enterprises with more balanced compensation scales, and disqualify those with large disparities for economic development subsidies. Ohio’s working people deserve policies that value and protect them with hazard and sick pay in this crisis and living wages for the long term.”