The CEOs of large publicly traded companies often make hundreds of times more than the median pay of their employees.
In Dallas-Fort Worth, that’s especially the case with retail and restaurant businesses – industries that historically pay lower wages to workers, leading to lopsided ratios in comparison to highly-paid chief executives, according to The Dallas Morning News’ annual ranking of executive pay at the region’s 100 largest public companies.
This year, Plano-headquartered Yum China Holdings topped the list. Its CEO, Joey Wat, was paid 2,457 times more than the median for the company’s 450,000 workers, mostly because “substantially all” of its employees work at Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC franchises in China. Its annual median pay for workers was $6,738 in 2021. Wat’s pay package totaled over $16.5 million.
Right behind Yum China was Grapevine-based GameStop. CEO Matthew Furlong’s pay package is worth 1,354 times more than the $12,417 median paid to the company’s employees. Furlong, a former Amazon executive, took over for George Sherman in June 2021 and received compensation worth 134% more than Sherman received. That included a $4.7 million hiring bonus, according to regulatory filings.
“Anytime there’s transition and you have a new CEO take the helm, usually there’s a large equity component,” said NFP Compensation Consulting’s Tyler Brown, noting that companies attempt to “tie that executive into the long-term strategy of the business.”
NFP Compensation Consulting (formerly known as Longnecker & Associates) crunched the numbers for The Dallas Morning News’ analysis. Almost every public company is required to disclose its CEO-to-worker pay ratio, with a few exceptions for emerging or smaller firms.
See The News’ complete CEO ranking here.