Live Nation has been singled out as the leading example of disparities between boardroom and employee pay across S&P 500 companies in a new report
The Institute for Policy Studies’ (IPS) 29th annual Executive Excess report noted that Live Nation chief executive Michael Rapino earned 5,400 times more than the company’s median earner in 2022. Rapino earned $139m – including a $109m stock grant – during the period compared to the median $25,673 according to the SEC filings assessed by the institute.
The IPS said Live Nation had the fattest CEO paycheck and the widest pay gap among S&P 500 corporations. It noted that Rapino’s pay ratio to employees would be 353:1 if the calculation disregarded Rapino’s stock grant, which will vest in stages between 2024 and 2027, and the earnings of the company’s primarily part-time employees.
The IPS noted that Live Nation and many other companies that feature highly on the list of executive excess have complained about the lack of available workers during and since the pandemic.
“In response to strikes and union organising drives, corporate leaders routinely insist that they simply lack the wherewithal to raise employee pay,” the report said. “And yet top executives seem to have little trouble finding resources for enriching themselves and wealthy shareholders.”
This Executive Excess report takes an in-depth look across S&P 500 corporations, reporting the total compensation and personal stock holdings of CEOs, the CEO-worker pay gap, and the overall outlays for stock buybacks. The median CEO-to-employee compensation ratio across the S&P 500 was 187:1.
On the low end, Tesla chief executive Elon Musk did not draw any compensation from the electric vehicle company in 2022, according to a filing. This resulted in a pay ratio of 0-to-1 compared to the median employee compensation of $34,084.
In July, Live Nation shareholders voted against Rapino’s $139m pay package after rejecting executive compensation proposals in a non-binding poll. Around 54% voted against the pay plans for the group’s leader and other C-suite executives.
Rapino was slated to earn a $6m signing fee, annual salary of $3m, $12m cash performance bonus and stock awards of $116m for a total compensation of around $139m for 2022.