Tag Archives: CEO

Boeing vs. Airbus: CEO compensation (2017)

For the last 4 years I have been writting a small series of posts comparing the compensation of Airbus and Boeing CEOs (1). This series started out of conversation with colleagues and I keep it updated to have a record of the evolution and for quick reference in other conversations (2). Thus, this post is just the update with the information for the 2017 fiscal year.

As both Boeing and Airbus are public companies, the information about their CEOs compensation is public and can be found in the annual report and proxy statement from each one. I just share the information and sources below for comparison and future reference.

Airbus CEO, Tom Enders’ 2017 compensation (financial statements here, PDF, 4.0 MB, page 58):

Enders_2017

Airbus CEO Tom Enders 2017 compensation.

Enders saw his base salary frozen in relation to 2016 at 1.5 M€. Variable pay decreased in 7.3%, post-employment benefit costs increased, etc. The main change in last year’s remuneration was the line “Termination benefits”, which in the notes it is explaiend as stipulated in 1.5 times the “Total Target Remuneration (defined as Base Salary and target Annual Variable Remuneration)”, as Enders announced that he will retire from the post when his current term expires in 2019. Thus, the overall compensation (9.1 M€increased.

Boeing CEO, Dennis Muilenburg’s 2017 compensation (2018 proxy statement here, PDF, 6.7 MB, page 30):

muilenburg_2017.png

Boeing’s CEO Dennis Muilenburg 2017 compensation.

Dennis Muilenburg saw his base salary increased in 50 k$. And with that all other incentive and other compensation concepts. The total compensation (18.45 M$) increased in relation to 2016 and has now raised above the 2014 levels (17.8 M$).

Comparison. It is interesting to note that while the base salary is nearly the same, 1.5 m€ vs 1.69 m$ (more so taking into account average exchange rates in 2017 (~ 1.13 USD/EUR)), the incentive schemes at Boeing end up with a total remuneration for the CEO about the double (x1.8) of that in Airbus.


(1) See the previous comparisons for the years 20132014, 2015 and 2016.

(2) From what I see in the stats of the visits to this blog, other people are having similar conversations as these posts with the compensation comparison have ranked among the top 10 most read ones the last years.

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Boeing vs. Airbus: CEO compensation (2016)

For the last 3 years I have been writting a small series of posts comparing the compensation of Airbus and Boeing CEOs (1). This series started out of conversation with colleagues and I keep it to have a record of the evolution and for quick reference in other conversations (2). Thus, this post is just the update with the information for the 2016 fiscal year.

As both Boeing and Airbus are public companies, the information about their CEOs compensation is public and can be found in the annual report and proxy statement from each one. I just share the information and sources below for comparison and future reference.

Airbus CEO, Tom Enders’ 2016 compensation (financial statements here, PDF, 1.0 MB, page 59):

Enders_2016

Airbus CEO Tom Enders 2016 compensation.

Enders saw its base salary increased in 100 k€ after 3 years at 1.4 M€. Variable pay also increased substancially, but share-based remmuneration decreased in a bigger amount. The overall compensation (6.25 M€) decreased, as it has been the case for the last 3 years.

Boeing CEO, Dennis Muilenburg’s 2016 compensation (proxy statement here, PDF, 4.2 MB, page 30):

Muilenburg_2016

Boeing’s CEO Dennis Muilenburg 2016 compensation.

Dennis Muilenburg saw its base salary increased in 50 k$, after a decrease of 330 k$ last year in the transition between McNerney and him. Incentive percentages were kept constant, has been the case in the last 4 years. The total compensation (15.18 M$) increased in relation to 2015 but it is still bellow the 2014 levels (17.8 M$).

Comparison. It is interesting to note that while the base salary is nearly the same, 1.5 m€ vs 1.65 m$ (more so taking into account average exchange rates in 2016 (~ 0.90 EUR/USD)), the incentive schemes at Boeing end up with a total remuneration for the CEO about the double (x2.2) of that in Airbus.


(1) See the previous comparisons for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015.

(2) From what I see in the stats of the visits to this blog, other people are having similar conversations as these posts with the compensation comparison have ranked among the top 10 most read ones the last years.

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Boeing vs. Airbus: CEO compensation (2015)

Last year, I wrote a couple of post titled “Boeing vs. Airbus: CEO compensation (2014)” (and 2013) in which I compared the compensation of both CEOs. Yesterday, I saw that those posts received a larger than usual amount of visits which reminded me that now, at the end of the year 2016, we can find the same information for the 2015 fiscal year. Thus, this follow on post.

As both Boeing and Airbus are public companies, the information about their CEOs compensation is public and can be found in the annual report and proxy statement from each one. I will just copy the information below for comparison and future reference.

Airbus Group CEO, Tom Enders’ 2015 compensation (financial statements here, PDF, 1.7 MB, page 58).

Airbus Group’s Tom Enders 2015 compensation.

Airbus Group’s Tom Enders 2015 compensation.

In the case of Boeing, 2015 was particular in the sense that Jim McNerney was the CEO for the first half of the year and since July 1st the position is held by Dennis A. Muilenburg. Find in the table below the figures for both (proxy statement here, PDF, 3.7 MB, page 30):

Boeing’s Jim McNerney and Dennis Muilenburg 2015 compensation.

Boeing’s Jim McNerney and Dennis Muilenburg 2015 compensation.

It is interesting to note that while the base salary is nearly the same (1.4 m€ vs 1.6 m$, which after taking into account current exchange rate is almost equivalent) the incentive schemes at Boeing end up with a total remuneration about the double of that in Airbus Group.

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Boeing vs. Airbus: CEO compensation (2014)

At the beginning of this year, I wrote a post titled “Boeing vs. Airbus: CEO compensation (2013)” in which I compared the compensation of both CEOs. Even if the post was published in 2015, as I wrote it at the beginning of the year the latest information available from both companies was the compensation of 2013.

A few days ago, I saw that this post received a larger than usual amount of visits which reminded me that now, at the end of the year 2015, we can find the same information for the 2014 fiscal year. Thus, this follow on post.

As both Boeing and Airbus are public companies, the information about their CEOs compensation is public and can be found in the annual report and proxy statement from each one. I will just copy the information below for comparison and future reference.

Airbus Group CEO, Tom Enders’ 2014 compensation (financial statements here, PDF, 4.2 MB).

Airbus Group’s Tom Enders 2014 compensation.

Airbus Group’s Tom Enders 2014 compensation.

Boeing CEO, Jim McNerney’s 2014 compensation (proxy statement here, PDF, 1.0MB)

Boeing’s Jim McNerney 2014 compensation.

Boeing’s Jim McNerney 2014 compensation.

Just as a reminder, from July 1st 2015, Dennis Muilenburg took over the position of Chief Executive Officer (he was at that moment the COO) from Jim McNerney.

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Boeing vs. Airbus: CEO compensation (2013)

Last Friday, while reading the Seattle Times article “Boeing CEO took home almost $29M last year” (referring to 2014) I was reminded of a recent conversation with some colleagues on the compensation of Boeing vs. Airbus Group CEOs.

As both companies are public companies, this information is public and can be found in the annual report and proxy statement from each one. I will just copy the information below for comparison and future reference. I use 2013 references to compare both at the same exercise, as 2014 annual report from Airbus Group is not yet available.

Airbus Group CEO, Tom Enders’ 2013 compensation (annual report here, PDF, 1.4MB)

Airbus Group's Tom Enders 2013 compensation.

Airbus Group’s Tom Enders 2013 compensation.

Boeing CEO, Jim McNerney’s 2013 compensation (proxy statement here, PDF, 1.1MB)

Boeing's Jim McNerney 2013 compensation.

Boeing’s Jim McNerney 2013 compensation.

Just as a complement, see in this article from The Washington Post “The pay gap between CEOs and workers is much worse than you realize“, based on a study by Harvard Business School, how the ratios of compensation between CEO and the average worker are in different countries, compared to what respondents to a poll said those ratios should ideally be.

 

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On Boards of directors and CEOs

The Economist issue published last week included an article (“From cuckolds to captains”) about the transformation of corporate boards. However, I wanted to extract the following passages:

For most of their history, boards have been largely ceremonial institutions: friends of the boss who meet every few months to rubber-stamp his decisions and have a good lunch. Critics have compared directors to “parsley on fish”, decorative but ineffectual; or honorary colonels, “ornamental in parade but fairly useless in battle”. Ralph Nader called them “cuckolds” who are always the last to know when managers have erred.

[…]

The first is that boards should focus on providing companies with strategic advice. This sort of common sense is often in short supply in the ego-driven world of boards. Boardrooms contain too many people with different priorities: corporate veterans who give lectures on how they would have handled things; egomaniacs who like to show how much they know about everything; hobby-horse jockeys who mount the same steed regardless of the race; captives of compliance who are obsessed with box-ticking. The authors say that in their experience perhaps half of the Fortune 500 companies have one or two directors they would regard as “dysfunctional”.

While reading these passages from the article I couldn’t help but remembering Warren Buffett on board of directors in his 2009 letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders [PDF, 116KB] (the emphasis is mine):

“In my view a board of directors of a huge financial institution is derelict if it does not insist that its CEO bear full responsibility for risk control. If he’s incapable of handling that job, he should look for other employment. And if he fails at it – with the government thereupon required to step in with funds or guarantees – the financial consequences for him and his board should be severe.

It has not been shareholders who have botched the operations of some of our country’s largest financial institutions. Yet they have borne the burden, with 90% or more of the value of their holdings wiped out in most cases of failure. Collectively, they have lost more than $500 billion in just the four largest financial fiascos of the last two years. To say these owners have been “bailed-out” is to make a mockery of the term.

The CEOs and directors of the failed companies, however, have largely gone unscathed. Their fortunes may have been diminished by the disasters they oversaw, but they still live in grand style. It is the behavior of these CEOs and directors that needs to be changed: If their institutions and the country are harmed by their recklessness, they should pay a heavy price – one not reimbursable by the companies they’ve damaged nor by insurance. CEOs and, in many cases, directors have long benefitted from oversized financial carrots; some meaningful sticks now need to be part of their employment picture as well.”

[…]

“In evaluating a stock-for-stock offer, shareholders of the target company quite understandably focus on the market price of the acquirer’s shares that are to be given them. But they also expect the transaction to deliver them the intrinsic value of their own shares – the ones they are giving up. If shares of a prospective acquirer are selling below their intrinsic value, it’s impossible for that buyer to make a sensible deal in an all-stock deal. You simply can’t exchange an undervalued stock for a fully-valued one without hurting your shareholders.

Imagine, if you will, Company A and Company B, of equal size and both with businesses intrinsically worth $100 per share. Both of their stocks, however, sell for $80 per share. The CEO of A, long on confidence and short on smarts, offers 1 1⁄4 shares of A for each share of B, correctly telling his directors that B is worth $100 per share. He will neglect to explain, though, that what he is giving will cost his shareholders $125 in intrinsic value. If the directors are mathematically challenged as well, and a deal is therefore completed, the shareholders of B will end up owning 55.6% of A & B’s combined assets and A’s shareholders will own 44.4%. Not everyone at A, it should be noted, is a loser from this nonsensical transaction. Its CEO now runs a company twice as large as his original domain, in a world where size tends to correlate with both prestige and compensation.

If an acquirer’s stock is overvalued, it’s a different story: Using it as a currency works to the acquirer’s advantage. That’s why bubbles in various areas of the stock market have invariably led to serial issuances of stock by sly promoters. Going by the market value of their stock, they can afford to overpay because they are, in effect, using counterfeit money. Periodically, many air-for-assets acquisitions have taken place, the late 1960s having been a particularly obscene period for such chicanery. Indeed, certain large companies were built in this way. (No one involved, of course, ever publicly acknowledges the reality of what is going on, though there is plenty of private snickering.)

[…]

“I have been in dozens of board meetings in which acquisitions have been deliberated, often with the directors being instructed by high-priced investment bankers (are there any other kind?). Invariably, the bankers give the board a detailed assessment of the value of the company being purchased, with emphasis on why it is worth far more than its market price. In more than fifty years of board memberships, however, never have I heard the investment bankers (or management!) discuss the true value of what is being given. When a deal involved the issuance of the acquirer’s stock, they simply used market value to measure the cost. They did this even though they would have argued that the acquirer’s stock price was woefully inadequate – absolutely no indicator of its real value – had a takeover bid for the acquirer instead been the subject up for discussion.

When stock is the currency being contemplated in an acquisition and when directors are hearing from an advisor, it appears to me that there is only one way to get a rational and balanced discussion. Directors should hire a second advisor to make the case against the proposed acquisition, with its fee contingent on the deal not going through. Absent this drastic remedy, our recommendation in respect to the use of advisors remains: “Don’t ask the barber whether you need a haircut.”

After these paragraphs harsh on CEOs and directors, let me finish with two references to posts I wrote some time ago: “Is talent really worth it?“, a review of a book on CEOs pay, and “Buffett on shares buy back by companies“, excerpt from 1980 letter.

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Is talent really worth it? (Book review)

I am subscribed to The Economist since about 3 years ago. It not only provides with very interesting articles every week and lots of new ideas, but from time to time I am asked to take part in surveys. As a way to show appreciation they normally offer a study, a book, etc…

The latest book that I received from them and read is “Pay check. Are top earners really worth it?”, by David Bolchover.

The book is ferocious critique of CEO’s and finance workers’ pay. The average CEO in the USA earned in 1980 42 times the average blue-collar salary, while by 2000 this multiple increased to 531 times!

The book makes a clear difference between entrepreneurs, true generators of wealth, and the top management of multinational companies. He argues that there are three necessary conditions to award a high pay to the CEO:

  • Enough revenues available.
  • The CEO should have a measurable and substantially positive impact in the company (e.g. like one could defend the impact of a sports star within a team).
  • We would need to demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that his abilities are extremely rare making him difficult to replace (could Jordan be replaced in Chicago Bulls?).

More often than not, this is not the case.

The favourite excuse being used to award exorbitant salaries is the scarcity of “talent”. The origin of the “talent” ideology seems to be the 1998 article from McKinsey “The War for Talent”.

Some of the extreme cases cited in the book…

  • Lehman Brothers CEO at the time of bankruptcy, Dick Fuld, who in his 15 years as CEO pocketed $466 million ($34M in 2007) before filing the largest bankruptcy in history (with $613 billion in debts), placing him as the worst CEO in American history according to Portfolio magazine.
  • Oil companies BP and Shell which both CEOs missed the objectives in 2008 yet still managed to be handed the undeserved bonus by the compensation committee from each company!

The author states that today, the main enemy of capital is… “talent”, those undeservingly taking the money away from shareholders and calls for shareholder activism to revert this situation and bring the money to whom it belongs (us, the shareholders… either directly or through investment and pension funds…).

I do recommend this book (~125 pgs.).

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