Is Media Portrayal of Executive Pay Fair?
Last Thursday Yahoo announced that they will hire Google’s Marissa Mayer as their fifth CEO in as many years (The Kings article here). It is estimated that Mayer’s total package will be $60 million over the next several years.
There has been a lot of conversation surrounding the move with regards to whether the media equally portrays a social media executive vs. a similarly paid Wall Street executive. Imagine one of theCEOs being offered a similar package when the company they are hired to run is underperforming and the stock is consistently going lower. Watching and reading coverage about Mayer, the spin was for the most part is very positive regarding her past at Google, her accomplishments, etc.
When trying to take an unbiased point of view, what comes to mind is that a search engine website has never lost anyone’s savings or wiped out 401k plans due to inappropriate hedging or overexposure to a certain volatile currency like financial institutions have. So from this perspective I can see where Wall Street pay critics get their distaste when reporting on finance exec pay. However, I believe that pay needs to be looked at based on the individual and not always have the media commentary be based on sentiment of a certain industry.
How do you all feel? Is the media biased when it comes to executive pay based on the industry that the executive is in? Perhaps the female factor plays a role?