'Evening News' Finds Shareholder Votes on Pay Just Ducky
CBS "Evening News" showcased Aflac CEO Dan Amos on April 29 because the company plans to begin giving shareholders a vote on executive compensation beginning in 2009.
While CBS correspondent Mark Strassmann did explain that the shareholders' vote would be non-binding, the premise of the story was that it could create a ripple effect throughout corporate America.
"Other CEOs may soon get the message -- perform or you're a sitting duck," said correspondent Mark Strassmann.
Strassmann also supplied viewers with a common class envy talking point: "In one work day, America's average CEO earns more than the average employee makes all year."
Following Strassmann's report, anchor Anthony Mason interviewed "executive compensation consultant" Brian Foley, who has been a regular go-to for the media on CEO pay.
"At some companies, the pay packages are out of control," Foley said.
Mason asked Foley if stockholders get angry when a CEO is paid a high salary, but the company is struggling. Yes, "It gets people frustrated that the big guy makes that much money when their stock goes down," responded Foley.
The CBS reports did not indicate that some shareholders do not think voting on CEO pay is the best idea. Coca-Cola shareholders rejected compensation ratification among other proposals at its annual shareholders meeting.