Pay for CEOs who run the biggest U.S. companies soared 17.1% last year, up to a median of $14.5 million.
That's according to the AP's annual pay survey conducted with Equilar. Such raises tower over the 4.4% gain in wages and benefits netted by private-sector workers.
The raises for many rank-and-file workers also failed to keep up with inflation, which reached 7% last year. CEO pay took off as stock prices and profits rebounded sharply and the economy roared out of its brief 2020 recession.
Because much of a CEO’s compensation is tied to such performance, their pay gains zoomed higher after years of mostly moderating growth.
Since the start of the year, the markets have lost about 16% of their value. While workers have seen modest pay bumps, those have been offset by increasing energy and food prices.