General counsel at huge US companies are handsomely rewarded

Of the Fortune 500 general counsel who were among their company’s five highest-paid officers in 2007, the 100 with the highest cash compensation had an average salary of $567,195. Twice as high, at $1,039,931 was their average bonus/nonequity incentive cash compensation. On top of that pile of cash, their average stock award (restricted stock grant) was $1,324,232 while their average stock option value was $720,470.

In sum, from Amy Miller’s detailed report in Corp. Counsel, Vol. 15 Aug. 2008 at 76, the four component averages expressed as a percentage of the average total pay package were 15 percent salary, 30 percent bonus, 36 percent stock award, and 19 percent stock options. All of that amounted to a stupendous $3.6 million average total compensation for the 100 general counsel researched

Note that a “bonus” is defined as a discretionary cash distribution. “Nonequity incentive compensation” is tied to the company’s achievement of specific financial metrics, such as profits, revenue or operating income.

We welcome comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *