The highest paid executive in the nation, David Simon, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Simon Property Group based in Indianapolis, IN, was paid $137 million last year, which comes out to $732.75 per minute.
According to an analysis by The Associated Press using data from Equilar, an executive pay research firm, the head of a typical public company made $9.6 million in 2011, That’s an increase of more than 6 percent from the previous year.
The AP estimates that a minimum wage worker earning $7.25 per hour –like many workers at Simon shopping malls – would have to work almost 9,096 years to make what Simon made last year. A person earning the national median salary, $39,312 would have to work 3,489 years.
Simon Property Group is the largest real estate company in the United States and operates shopping malls across the country. Simon’s $137 million was mainly in stock options.
According to the Indianapolis Star, Simon shareholders, in a nonbinding “say on pay” vote last week, rejected Simon’s executive compensation package by a nearly 3-1 ratio.
The company responded:
“SPG’s (shareholder) returns during David Simon’s tenure have led our industry and been among the best in corporate America, and our board firmly believes it was and is critical to retain Mr. Simon as the company’s CEO through a long-term, equity-based retention agreement that further aligns his interests with our stockholders.”
Translation: Go fly a kite.
Non-binding say-on-pay votes are new for public companies and are required under the federal Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.