Executive recruiters and compensation experts take note: Fewer executives are getting company cars, free annual physicals and deferred compensation plans, according to the 2011/2012 Executive Compensation Survey by Compdata.
The number of companies offering perquisites to CEOs has fallen to 61.5 percent in 2011 from 89.8 percent in 2009. And while 61.6 percent of companies in the West offered long-term incentives to CEOs in 2009, just 19 percent offered them in 2011. The number of firms in the Southeast offering long-term incentives is now 17.9 percent, dropping from 58.6 percent in 2009. And only 10.4 percent of employers in the South Central region of the country offer long-term incentives to CEOs, down from 47.2 percent reported in 2009.
Bonuses are also down, and it appears that the practice of offering golden parachutes to departing executives has come under the microscope following a report by GMI, which found that median compensation of CEOs at 21 companies that filed for bankruptcy was $8.7 million, just $400,000 less than the median compensation earned by CEOs at healthy companies. In fact, 21 CEOs received walk-away packages in excess of $100 million since 2000.
While GMI acknowledges the value of walk-away payments, they admit that something has gone terribly wrong. At the very least, parachute payments could be scaled back for new hires so, if you’re sourcing executive talent or making recommendations to the compensation committee, you’d better keep an eye on the trends.