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Monday, September 04, 2006

Pay's a gusher for oil CEOs - By Vineeta Anand

Rising prices and profits translated into pay
packages for oil company CEOs that are nearly three times the size of
similarly sized businesses, a new study from two watchdog groups

In 2005, the chief execs of the largest 15 oil companies averaged $32.7
million in compensation, compared with $11.6 million for all large U.S.
firms, according to the study, released yesterday by the Institute for
Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy.

Amid reports of multimillion-dollar pay packages, shareholder activists
have sponsored resolutions to limit compensation at companies like
ExxonMobil and Home Depot. link below >>>


In May, three members of the House of Representatives criticized the
retirement benefits of former Exxon CEO Lee Raymond and asked the
company to fill a gap in its workers' pension fund.

"Instead of lining the pockets of executives, they should be investing
the money into new sources of energy that go beyond fossil oils," said
Sarah Anderson, director of the global economy project at the
Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies, and a co-author of the

Anderson's group researches peace, justice and environmental issues.
United for a Fair Economy, a nonprofit group based in Boston, tries to
raise awareness about the effects of "concentrated wealth and power,"
according to its Web site.

Last year, the top execs at the 15 largest oil companies earned a total of $512.9 million, the study said.

That figure includes the $95.1 million awarded last year to William
Greehey, CEO of Valero Energy, the largest U.S. refiner, took home,
including salary, bonuses, restricted stock and exercised stock

Raymond, who retired in January as head of ExxonMobil, the most profitable U.S. company, collected $69.7 million.

Oil execs help manage the bottom lines as well as directing investments
in oil and gas as well as fossil fuels, said John Felmy, chief
economist at the American Petroleum Institute in Washington.

"They are paying dividends, buying back stock and managing their
businesses well," Felmy said. "Their CEOs should be fairly

The groups also examined the pay of defense contractors' chief execs.
The top executives at defense contractors and military suppliers have
benefited from the boom in government spending since Sept. 11, 2001,
and the war in Iraq.

As a group, the CEOs of the 34 defense contractors have received total compensation of just under $1 billion since 2002.

The highest-paid exec in the group was George David, the chairman and
CEO of United Technologies, the maker of Pratt & Whitney jet
engines and the Sikorsky helicopters. David received $31.9 million last
year, the study said.

Originally published on August 31, 2006


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