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They make how much?

Average CEO pay levels for S&P 500 Index companies fell 5 percent in 2012, compared with 2011. But that figure is skewed by the salary of one CEO — Apple’s Timothy Cook — whose 2012 salary fell to $4.2 million, down from $378 million the year before. When he is taken out of the mix, average CEO pay actually increased 5 percent in 2012 over 2011, according to the AFL-CIO.

And while the average worker’s pay is $19.77 per hour, some CEOs make several hundreds times that in total compensation. For example:

  • Credit Acceptance Corp. CEO Brett Roberts pulls in $26,097 an hour.
  • Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav earns $24,006 an hour.
  • Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman brings home $16,082 per hour.
  • And on the low end of the scale, Allergan CEO David Pyott makes just $10,175 an hour.

But even at those numbers, those CEOs are not on Forbes’ list of the top five highest-paid CEOs in 2012. According to the magazine, the top five earners are:

  • McKesson’s John H. Hammergren, $131 million
  • Ralph Lauren of Ralph Lauren, $67 million
  • Michael Fascitelli of Vornado Realty, $64 million
  • Richard Kinder of Kinder Morgan, $61 million
  • David Cote of Honeywell International at $56 million

Most of their pay came from exercised stock options or vested stock awards.

 

Surfing for better business

Do you know what’s on your own company’s website?

Too many CEOs don’t, leaving the task to their employees. But if you don’t know how your business is being represented to the world, that could be trouble. As the CEO, it is your job to understand your company’s digital footprint.

But besides being intimately familiar with your own website, Forbes recommends other sites that can help you better lead your business.

  • Your competitors’ websites
  • Your customers’ websites
  • Foreign Affairs (www.foreignaffairs.com), to get you thinking more globally
  • Psychology Today (www.psychologytoday.com) to learn more about how employees and clients think
  • Mashable (mashable.com), an online news community
  • TED (www.ted.com), featuring videos of thought leaders

 

Drinking to economic prosperity

Eighty years after Prohibition was repealed by the federal government in 1933, alcohol has become a multibillion-dollar industry in the U.S.

According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, alcohol is responsible for more than $400 billion in total economic activity, generating nearly $90 billion in wages and providing jobs for nearly 4 million workers.

The sale of alcohol is good for government, as well. Federal, state and local taxes account for 54 percent of the average price of a 750 milliliter bottle of 80-proof distilled spirits, bringing more than $41 million to state and local coffers.