Apparently, the richest man in the world is not exempt from bullying.
At least that is how Tesla CEO Elon Musk interprets a Feb. 7 subpoena from the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) seeking information about Musk’s compliance with a 2018 settlement that requires Musk’s tweets on “material information about the company” be vetted by company lawyers prior to posting.
Musk clearly has irritated the SEC and, more generally, the Biden administration by controversial opinions that seem to have little, if any, relationship to TESLA.
Musk has exercised what many would consider to be his First Amendment right to communicate with his 63 million followers on Twitter (twice as many as Pres. Biden).
There is a national debate about the wage gap between women and men and minorities and white people. But the largest wage gap by far is between chief executive officers and the people who work for them.
A careers board site, Lensa, examined the extent of the CEO to employee wage gap at the 100 biggest companies in the United States and found the CEO earns $1,276,520.77 more than workers annually.
Here are the companies with the biggest wage gap:
Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey earned $1.60 million, compared to the median employee pay of $11,342, for a difference of $14007 percent.
Starbuck Corp. CEO Kevin Johnson earned $1.54 million, compared to the median employee pay of $12,113, for a difference of $12617 percent.
Chipolte Mexican Grill CEO Brian Niccol earned $1.20 million, compared to the median employee pay of $14,155, for a difference of 8378 percent.
Viacom CEO Robert M. Bakish earned $3.00 million, compared to the median employee pay of $39,110, for a difference of 7571 percent.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon earned $1.27 million, compared to the median employee pay of $20,942, for a difference of 5975 percent.
To add insult to injury, employees at Coca-Cola, which recorded the highest disparity between CEO and employee pay, had the lowest median salary at $11,342. And Starbucks is the biggest coffee chain in the word and yet its workers receive the second lowest average wage, $12,113. At Chipotle, the average employee takes home $14,155, which is equivalent to about 1.18% of CEO Niccol’s $1.20 million salary.
And Then There Is Tesla
The company with the smallest wage gap between the CEO and median worker is Tesla, where CEO Elon Musk actually earns less than the average employee. Musk earns $23,760 compared to the average employee pay of $58,455. This represents a difference of minus 59%.
But what does Tesla’s ranking really mean? Musk is ranked by Forbes as the first or second richest man in the world.
In 2020, Musk was the highest-paid CEO, receiving $6.66 billion worth of compensation, despite having a minimal base salary.
Perhaps Musk takes a small paycheck to lower his federal income tax obligation?
Americans were treated to an example of classic bullying recently when Elon Musk responded to a demand by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders “that the extremely wealthy pay their fair share.”
It’s hard to understand why Musk, the world’s richest man, took offense to Sanders’ comment. But that’s not the issue. It’s how he took offense.
Musk tweeted about Sanders: “I keep forgetting that you’re still alive. ”
Musk engaged in a personal attack on Sanders based upon a trait over which Sanders has no control. Sanders is 80 years of age.
It’s as if Musk, 50, was kicking sand in Sanders’ face.
Some may remember a body builder called Charles Atlas who developed an exercise program in the 1930s that spawned a memorable advertising campaign in which a muscular bully at a beach humiliates a skinny man who is walking with a beautiful date.