Georgia’s highest-paid executives: Are they worth it?

The Georgia executive pay database has been updated with 2008 data. Last year, Coca-Cola Chairman Neville Isdell was the highest paid executive in Georgia, raking in over $23 million in total compensation. Another high-profile Coca-Cola executive, President and CEO Muhtar Kent, came in second place with over $19 million in total compensation. Richard H. Anderson, CEO of Delta came in third place, earning a total of more than $17 million last year.

After crunching the numbers, the data shows that the median compensation package for a high-ranking executive at one of the state’s top 20 public companies in 2008 was more than 47 times what the average Georgia worker earned last year.

We know from the public outrage over AIG bonuses that executive pay remains a controversial subject, especially as the economy continues to struggle. What do you think about executive pay? Is it the price companies must pay to retain quality executive employees and remain competitive in the marketplace? Or do you think it’s symbolic of the corporate greed that some people believe has been the downfall of major U.S. companies this year?

One comment Add your comment


June 15th, 2009
12:11 pm

If we value our freedom as we have known it in America, we need to protect the free market. People should be paid based upon what the market dictates, no matter what they do. Where do you draw the line? If you want to limit executive pay, why would you stop there? Why should athletes and entertainers be allowed to make millions and not some of the most educated, brightest business people? Wouldn’t we also all benefit from lower ticket prices and cost of goods and services resulting from lower advertising cost if athletes and entertainers were paid less? Why should an owner of a private company be allowed to make whatever the market bears and not a CEO of a public company? The private company has investors as well. This is a slippery slope.