The New York Times has the best CEO compensation viewing tool ever. This is the best way to see how bloated the pay package of the U.S. company CEOs is.
My favorite CEO on the list is John Thain for managing to negotiate Merrill Lynch (MER – $42.60) shareholders out of $83 million for doing not much more than quitting his job at the NYSE and moving into his new office. I want this guy on my team next time I buy a car. Though, unless he considered me a charity case, I couldn’t afford him.
In terms of good value CEO’s, Steve Jobs, who pays himself $1 a year but owns $850 million in Apple (AAPL – $147.51) shares; Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK/A – $129,000), at $175,000 a year; and James Rogers of Duke Energy (DUK – $18.11) who took only $500,000 in perks and kept his job.
In the long run, it seems investing with CEO’s more interested in creating shareholder value than increasing their own pay package is a great way to make money,
Disclosure: I own Apple (AAPL) and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A). I do not own Merrill Lynch (MER) or Duke Energy (DUK). I have traded Merrill Lynch in the past year. I have not traded Duke Energy (DUK) in the past year but may buy it soon.