The Associated Press today released its annual list of the highest-paid CEOs by state, with Jeffrey K. Storey of Monroe-based Lumen Technologies taking Louisiana’s top spot.
Storey received $17 million in compensation for his work in 2020, more than $4 million more than last year’s highest-paid CEO, Amedisys’ Paul Kissero, who took home $12.8 million in 2019. Lumen Technologies was formerly Century Link.
The list, which is calculated by AP and executive data firm Equilar, includes only publicly traded companies with more than $1 billion in revenue that filed their proxy statements with federal regulators between Jan. 1 and April 30. The ranking also includes only CEOs who have been in place for at least two years.
To calculate CEO pay, Equilar adds salary, bonus, stock awards, stock option awards, deferred compensation and other components that include benefits and perks. For some companies, big raises can occur when CEOs get a stock grant in one year as part of a multiyear grant.
As COVID-19 ravaged the world last year, CEOs’ big pay packages seemed to be under as much threat as everything else. Across the country, boards made changes to the intricate formulas that determine their CEOs’ pay—and other moves—to make up for losses created by the crisis, according to the AP’s analysis of executive salaries.
As a result, pay packages rose yet again last year for the CEOs of America’s biggest companies, even though the pandemic sent the economy to its worst quarter on record and slashed corporate profits around the world. The median pay package for a CEO at an S&P 500 company hit $12.7 million in 2020. That means half the CEOs in the survey made more, and half made less. It’s 5% more than the median pay for that same group of CEOs in 2019.
See the full list of each state’s highest paid CEOs here.