Les dirigeants les mieux payés dirigent les entreprises les moins performantes

La très grande majorité des gens croient que la rémunération des dirigeants est associée à une performance supérieure de leurs sociétés. Ce n’est pas ce que l’étude récemment publiée dans le Wall Street Journal par Theo Francis* tend à démontrer.

L’étude de la firme de recherche MSCI auprès de 800 CEO indique que, depuis 2006, les CEO les moins bien payés produisent des rendements supérieurs pour leurs firmes ! La différence est assez significative.

Je vous laisse le soin de lire ce compte rendu et de me donner vos impressions.

Bonne lecture !

Best-Paid CEOs Run Some of Worst-Performing Companies


The best-paid CEOs tend to run some of the worst-performing companies and vice versa—even when pay and performance are measured over the course of many years, according to a new study.

The analysis, from corporate-governance research firm MSCI, examined the pay of some 800 CEOs at 429 large and midsize U.S. companies during the decade ending in 2014, and also looked at the total shareholder return of the companies during the same period.

MSCI found that $100 invested in the 20% of companies with the highest-paid CEOs would have grown to $265 over 10 years. The same amount invested in the companies with the lowest-paid CEOs would have grown to $367. The report is expected to be released as early as Monday.


Graphique salaires CEO


The results call into question a fundamental tenet of modern CEO pay: the idea that significant slugs of stock options or restricted stock, especially when the size of the award is also tied to company performance in other ways, helps drive better company performance, which in turn will improve results for shareholders. Equity incentive awards now make up 70% of CEO pay in the U.S.

“The highest paid had the worst performance by a significant margin,” said Ric Marshall, a senior corporate governance researcher at MSCI. “It just argues for the equity portion of CEO pay to be more conservative.”

Executive-pay critics have long said pay and performance could be better aligned, and in June, The Wall Street Journal reported little relationship between one-year pay and performance figures for the S&P 500. Most longer-term analyses have used considered three or five years at a time.

The MSCI study compared 10-year total shareholder return—stock appreciation plus dividends—and cumulative total CEO pay as reported in proxy-filing summary-compensation tables.

The study also examined pay and performance among companies within the same broad economic sectors and found similar results: The top-paid half of CEOs in a sector tended to run companies that performed worse than their peers, while the lower-paid half tended to outperform.

“Whether you look at the entire group or adjust by market-cap and sector, you really get very similar results,” Mr. Marshall.

One possible factor driving the results, the researchers concluded: Annual pay reviews and proxy disclosures, which discourage boards and executives from focusing on longer-term results. The report recommended that the Securities and Exchange Commission require disclosure of cumulative incentive pay over long periods, to help illustrate a CEO’s pay relative to longer-term performance.


*Theo Francis covers corporate news for The Wall Street Journal from Washington, D.C., and specializes in using regulatory documents to write about complex financial, business, economic, legal and regulatory issues.

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