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Here Are 26 Companies That Paid Their CEOs More Than They Paid in Taxes

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Forget the 35% top corporate tax rate. That's more of an exception than a rule.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL ***CORRECTED*** The original article incorrectly wrote "refund" in places where companies actually paid negative taxes. We apologize for the error.

Investors have the right to "say on pay," but that evidently isn't curbing executives' lavish pay packages. In fact, a number of companies somehow ended up paying their chief executives a salary bigger than the tax burdens that they are so fond of calling excessive.

The Institute for Policy Studies released its 19th annual list of companies that pay their CEOs more than they pay in taxes. How did this work out? Usually the companies on these lists got a net refund from Uncle Sam in 2011. Not even Mitt Romney has pulled that off (in one year at least)!

(See also: One Spanish Mayor Is Stealing Groceries for the Poor, and Another Refuses to Eat)

Here are some of their findings (copied from the think-tank's website)
  • Of last year's 100 highest-paid US corporate chief executives, 26 took home more in CEO pay than their companies paid in federal income taxes, up from the 25 we noted in last year's analysis. Seven firms made the list in both 2011 and 2010.
  • The CEOs of these 26 firms received $20.4 million in average total compensation last year. That's a 23% increase over the average for last year's list of 2010's tax dodging executives.
  • The four most direct tax subsidies for excessive executive pay cost taxpayers an estimated $14.4 billion per year-$46 for every American man, woman, and child. That amount could also cover the annual cost of hiring 211,732 elementary-school teachers or creating 241,593 clean-energy jobs.
  • CEOs have benefited enormously from the Bush tax cuts for upper-income taxpayers. Last year, 57 CEOs saved more than $1 million on their personal income tax bills, thanks to these Bush-era cuts.
The full report is worth a read. It's food for thought next time you hear about the persistent public-sector layoffs in cash-strapped states, a trend that weighs on job market recovery.

Here is the list of companies whose CEOs are getting more than the Treasury.


Abbott Laboratories (ABT)

CEO: Miles White

Global Profits: $4.728 billion

Total CEO Compensation: $19,001,766

US Corporate Income Tax: -$586 million


Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)

CEO: Rory Read

Global Profits: $491 million

Total CEO Compensation: $15,610,351

US Corporate Income Tax: -$3 million


Altera (ALTR)

CEO: John P. Daane

Global Profits: $771 million

Total CEO Compensation: $29,576,725

US Corporate Income Tax: $22 million


AIG (AIG)

CEO: Robert H. Benmosche

Global Profits: $17.798 billion

Total CEO Compensation: $13,955,605

US Corporate Income Tax: -$208 million


Anadarko Petroleum (APC)

CEO: James T. Hackett

Global Losses: $2.649 billion

Total CEO Compensation: $19,489,285

US Corporate Income Tax: -$381 million


AT&T (T)

CEO: Randall L. Stephenson

Global Profits: $3,944

Total CEO Compensation: $18,690,824

US Corporate Income Tax: -$420


Boeing (BA)

CEO: W. James McNerney Jr.

Global Profits: $4.018 billion

Total CEO Compensation: $18,403,303

US Corporate Income Tax: -$420 million


Broadcom (BRCM)

CEO: Scott A. McGregor

Global Profits: $927 million

Total CEO Compensation: $16,076,291

US Corporate Income Tax: $0


Chesapeake Energy (CHK)

CEO: Aubrey McClendon

Global Profits: $1.742 billion

Total CEO Compensation: $17,868,076

US Corporate Income Tax: $13 million


Citigroup (C)

CEO: Vikram Pandit

Global Profits: $11.067 billion

Total CEO Compensation: $14,857,103

US Corporate Income Tax: -$144 million


Cooper Industries (CBE)

CEO: Kirk S. Hachigian

Global Profits: $828 million

Total CEO Compensation: $21,116,678

US Corporate Income Tax: -$29 million


Danaher (DHR)

CEO: H. Lawrence Culp Jr.

Global Profits: $2.172 billion

Total CEO Compensation: $21,650,117

US Corporate Income Tax: -$6 million


Devon Energy (DVN)

CEO: John Richels

Global Profits: $4.704 billion

Total CEO Compensation: $13,875,668

US Corporate Income Tax: -$143 million


FirstEnergy (FE)

CEO: Anthony Alexander

Global Profits: $885 million

Total CEO Compensation: $14,413,389

US Corporate Income Tax: -$243 million


Ford (F)

CEO: Alan Mulally

Global Profits: $20.213 billion

Total CEO Compensation: $29,497,572

US Corporate Income Tax: -$4 million


Halliburton (HAL)

CEO: David J. Lesar

Global Profits: $2.839 billion

Total CEO Compensation: $15,839,378

US Corporate Income Tax: -$1.026 billion


International Paper (IP)

CEO: John V. Faraci

Global Profits: $1.341 billion

Total CEO Compensation: $13,907,447

US Corporate Income Tax: -$78 million


Leucadia National (LUK)

CEO: Ian Cumming

Global Profits: $68 million

Total CEO Compensation: $28,177,211

US Corporate Income Tax: $0


Marathon Oil (MRO)

CEO: Clarence P. Cazalot Jr.

Global Profits: $2.946 billion

Total CEO Compensation: $29,911,662

US Corporate Income Tax: -$210 million


Marsh and McLennan (MMC)

CEO: Brian Duperreault

Global Profits: $993 million

Total CEO Compensation: $14,285,946

US Corporate Income Tax: $7 million


Motorola Mobility (MMI)

CEO: Sanjay Jha

Global Losses: $249 million

Total CEO Compensation: $47,152,687

US Income Tax: $0


Motorola Solutions (MSI)

CEO: Gregory Brown

Global Profits: $1.158 billion

Total CEO Compensation: $29,313,864

US Income Tax: $2 million


Newell Rubbermaid (NWL)

CEO: Michael Polk

Global Profits: $125 million

Total CEO Compensation: $18,872,706

US Income Tax: -$37 million


Salesforce.com (CRM)

CEO: Marc Benioff

Global Losses: $1.426

Total CEO Compensation: $17,714,306

US Income Tax: $9 million


Travelers Companies (TRV)

CEO: Jay Fishman

Global Profits: $1.426 billion

Total CEO Compensation: $15,837,099

US Income Tax: -$176 million


Tyco International (TYC)

CEO: Edward Breen

Global Profits: $17.355 billion

Total CEO Compensation: $16,499,622

US Income Tax: -$4 million


Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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