Even the smallest shareholders get their day once a year, when public companies are required to throw open their doors and let stockholders bend the ear of corporate bigwigs.
In his State of the Union address, President Obama pledged to "out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world." But what will it take to enhance America's entrepreneurial edge?
On Monday, Alcon, the world's largest eyecare company, held a emergency board meeting in a cramped conference room at a non-descript business center in Zug, Switzerland. Only four or five reporters attended, and ten of the fifteen chairs reserved for shareholders sat vacant. The conclave lasted just 45 minutes.
While much has been made out of the sheer heft of the 2,300-page behemoth known as the Dodd-Frank Act, it's a mere 26 pages that address the corporate governance and compensation issues that will have a profound effect on public companies and their investors.
BP has pledged to learn from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and to come away from the disaster with a renewed focus on safety.
When you want to understand whether the CEO runs the board or the board oversees the CEO, a good place to start is to look at the work of the Compensation committee. Compensation committees so impact how companies are run that NYSE and NASDAQ listing standards require that Compensation Committees be comprised only of independent board members.
Bank shareholders are showing a bit of gumption.
The McGuffin in the highly readable, 2,000-page report on what went wrong at Lehman Brothers was a bit of accounting magic called Repo 105. The transaction was based on the repurchase agreement, or repo deal, a common practice where a bank uses a security it owns as collateral for a short-term cash loan.
Maybe you missed your earnings target last year or your stock was crushed. But if you're a corporate executive, that might not necessarily prohibit you from earning a generous bonus.
Ohio State University is No. 1 again, but not in football or basketball. For the second year in a row, the school's president was the highest paid public university executive in the United States, according to a study published Monday.
The reign of Washington's "pay czar" could soon be coming to an end.
Waiting for investors to slam the brakes on runaway executive pay? Don't hold your breath. Although Congress may give shareholders more of a say on pay soon, big money managers seem content to keep their mouths shut.
The Obama administration's pay czar is imposing tough cuts on 175 big earners -- but many on Wall Street are still on track for a banner payday.
Compensation for top executives at many of the nation's largest publicly traded firms was essentially unchanged last year, even as the stock market plummeted, according to a study released Thursday.
A handful of major corporations have agreed to change the way they pay their employees, as calls to reform executive compensation structures heat up.
It may not be long before shareholders have more control over how much money top executives across the country make.
The Obama administration moved forward Wednesday on curbing runaway corporate pay practices, proposing new legislation aimed at giving shareholders a greater voice on executive pay and appointing a new so-called "pay czar."
Business advocates started scrambling on Tuesday to figure out whether Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor would be good or bad for companies.
As the economy melted down last year, so did CEO paychecks. The average compensation for 200 chief executives at America's largest public companies fell 5.1% last year to $10.8 million, according to a survey published Sunday by the New York Times and research firm Equilar. The decline marked the first time in five years that top executives' pay packages shrank compared to the year before.
The stories about the outrageous $160 million bonus payments at AIG have all omitted the most important names.
At long last, angry shareholders may finally have their day.
Pay cuts could be coming to a corner office near you, even if you're not the CEO of a troubled bank.
The last few weeks have led to the startling revelation of large-scale lapses in corporate governance by a leading India-based IT company. The disclosures have indeed been a wake up call for all stakeholders -- companies, customers, governments and employees.
Overall compensation for the nation's top executives rose more than expected last year, but the rate of increase was the lowest in six years, according to a study released Tuesday.
President-elect Barack Obama had plenty to say about corporate excess on the campaign trail. One place his presidency should have a direct and early impact is on so-called "say on pay" legislation that would make annual shareholder votes on senior executive compensation part of securities law.
As big Wall Street firms topple like dominoes, there is plenty of blame to go around.
Since the Enron scandal, a coterie of corporate-governance firms has emerged as standard-bearers for shareholder rights. In addition to acting as quote machines, the firms - which include the Corporate Library and RiskMetrics Group's ISS Governance Services - are also big businesses that sell, among other things, ratings that say whether a company is well governed or not.
Shareholders have been up arms lately about huge CEO paychecks, but so far that fervor hasn't translated into much action.
In what may prove to be a milestone for corporate reform in South Korea, the country's most powerful businessman resigned from his post as chairman
Merrill Lynch's board of directors was instrumental in removing Stanley O'Neal from the CEO and chairman posts after the brokerage reported $7.9 billion of bond losses in its third quarter.
Companies fretting that the SEC would be introducing new executive compensation rules this year will get a reprieve, at least temporarily, the head of the SEC division that regulates corporate finance told a group of lawyers Wednesday.
The Securities and Exchange Commission adopted Wednesday a new auditing standard that encourages a less costly approach when complying with a controversial provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform law.
To understand why London thinks it's beating New York in a race to become the financial capital of the world, walk across the Millennium Bridge toward St. Paul's Cathedral and count the number of cranes that clutter the skyline. The City, London's financial district, is in the midst of its biggest redevelopment boom since the Blitz, one result of the $100 billion in foreign investment pouring into the British capital annually.
Behind-the-scenes, the drama between Sumner Redstone and his daughter and presumed successor Shari is escalating. FORTUNE has learned that Shari is raising questions about self-dealing on Sumner's part that echo accusations made in earlier lawsuits by other kin as well as claims that Sumner misused funds held by the family company for his own benefit.
A fracture in the relationship between Sumner Redstone, the mercurial 84-year-old mogul who controls CBS and Viacom, and his daughter has become the latest drama within the House of Redstone, and how it plays out could decide the future control of one of the world's great media fortunes.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is forming an advisory committee to study how to make the U.S. financial reporting system less complex and costly, the agency said Wednesday.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has opened 12 investigations into collateralized debt obligations (CDO) linked to the sinking value of subprime mortgages and created a working group to focus on subprime market problems, the agency said Tuesday.
All five commissioners of the Securities and Exchange Commission are to appear Tuesday at a Congressional hearing that is expected to explore hedge fund activities, access to corporate proxy statements and so-called soft-dollar arrangements.
The easiest way to get a Wall Streeter worked up these days is to bring up New York's eroding status as the world's financial capital.
The issue of whether or not shareholders should get a say on company CEO compensation drew experts on both sides to a House hearing Thursday.
Senior computer scientists at Adobe take home an average of $161,127 in total compensation annually. Which other Best Companies to Work For offer big paychecks?
On the steamy morning of July 31, a parade of limos and Town Cars ferried two warring platoons of corporate luminaries to a drab, six-story office building in suburban Maryland. The combatants were...
Businesses that have been complaining about the cost of complying with the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reporting regulations will get some, but not all, of the relief they've been seeking, according to a published report.
More criminal indictments will come down the pike as corporate America struggles with the ever-growing stock options backdating scandal, according to an assistant director at the FBI.
1. Eugene M. Isenberg Chairman of the Board and CEO Nabors Industries (NBR) 2005 Total compensation: $71.4 million Note: Total compensation includes annualized base salary, bonuses, the present value of option grants (calculated by Equilar using the Black-Scholes formula as of the grant date), restricted stock awards, long-term incentive-plan payouts, and other compensation as disclosed in company proxies. Equilar Inc. of San Mateo, Calif., prepared the chart by looking at companies with more than $1 billion in revenues that filed proxies as of Sept. 1.
1. Safra Catz President and CFO Oracle (ORCL) 2005 Total compensation: $26.1 million Note: Total compensation includes annualized base salary, bonuses, the present value of option grants (calculated by Equilar using the Black-Scholes formula as of the grant date), restricted stock awards, long-term incentive-plan payouts, and other compensation as disclosed in company proxies. Equilar Inc. of San Mateo, Calif., prepared the chart by looking at companies with more than $1 billion in revenues that filed proxies as of Sept. 1.
CEOs got another nice pay raise in 2005, according to a new report from a corporate watchdog group released Wednesday.
The latest clash between Hewlett-Packard's directors presents a close-up view of the usually closed-door affairs of its board, and observes think the picture isn't pretty.
Sarbanes-Oxley turns four years old on July 30, but you won't hear corporate America singing "Happy Birthday." In fact, the grousing about the bill - designed to protect shareholders from fraudulen...
While the number of companies implicated in the ongoing options back-dating imbroglio has cracked the 50-plus mark, a fair number of those companies may emerge from the saga unscathed, a new report suggests.
Even as Enron founder Kenneth Lay's conviction is expected to be expunged with his death, the memory of his crimes has started to fade. So too, say legal experts, has our collective zeal to suss out and prosecute any more corporate crime.
The headline in London's Evening Standard in March, after BP reported that CEO John Browne's 2005 salary and bonus had hit $5.7 million, blared "OIL GIANTS' BOSSES LAND PAY BONANZA."
In a world full of vice and guilty pleasure, investors can rest assured that when it comes to their investments, at least there's one area in their lives where having a conscience can produce hefty returns.
The setting: a private gathering that included several leading lights on Wall Street and the heads of some of America's biggest companies.
Corporate executives, faced with greater regulatory scrutiny and demands in the wake of corporate scandals like Enron, have for some time moaned that new compliance rules are costing them profits and manpower, as well as cumbersome and probably not that effective.
Meaningless elections, where the outcome is decided in advance, fell out of favor after the collapse of the Berlin Wall -- except in corporate America.
Restatements of financial results by public companies nearly doubled in 2005 from the year earlier partly because of the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate-governance act, The Wall Street Journal reported.
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - If sky-high executive pay at publicly traded companies gives you vertigo, you might want to read this sitting down.
Note to banks: Your flabby boards could use a makeover.
Richard Scrushy, the founder and former CEO of HealthSouth Corp., was found not guilty Tuesday on all charges in the $2.7 billion accounting fraud at the hospital chain.
Google's chief executive officer and co-founders are taking a page out of Apple CEO Steve Jobs' book: they are now being paid just $1 as an annual salary.
Ask nearly any business executive to name the biggest menace facing corporate America, and the answer is apt to be a number: "404."
WHEN PRESIDENT SEAN HARRIGAN was ousted from the board of the $177 billion Calpers pension fund in December, some consumer, labor, and environmental groups theorized that he was being swept out in ...
The recent federal and state investigations aimed at global insurer American International Group are leading investors to wonder if Chairman Maurice "Hank" Greenberg may soon retire due to so-called regulatory fatigue.
The former chief executive officer of Computer Associates was indicted by a federal grand jury in New York Wednesday for allegedly participating in a massive fraud conspiracy and an elaborate cover up of a scheme that cost investors hundreds of millions of dollars.
Mutual fund rating firm Morningstar Inc. is running into some resistance in its efforts to provide a rating on fund managers' corporate governance practices, according to a published report Wednesday.
Andy Grove and I became co-conspirators on a January afternoon in 2003 about 20,000 feet above the Sierra Nevada. We were sitting opposite each other, knee to knee, on a business jet en route to La...
New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer vowed Tuesday to fight to the finish in his court battle with former New York Stock Exchange chief Richard Grasso over a $187 million pay package.
California public retirement fund Calpers and some other state-run funds around the nation are among the best known -- and most powerful -- shareholder activists.
Corporate chieftains and investors should prepare for more boardroom and management changes as mutual fund managers and private pension funds join the proxy vote battle formerly led by the public pension funds.
How very convenient for Michael Eisner. Under the banner of corporate reform, Eisner and his allies on Walt Disney's board have eased out his harshest critics and bought the embattled CEO more time...
To visit the unofficial world headquarters of shareholder activism, you have to fly to Sacramento and locate the government office building that is home to the 1,600 employees of the California Pub...
In Fall 1996, Michael Eisner, the chairman and CEO of Walt Disney Co., decided he had made a big mistake. Just a year earlier he had hired Hollywood power broker Michael Ovitz as Disney's president...
In a post-enron fit of buyer's remorse, congress passed corporate-reform legislation in July 2002. But small companies are finding themselves disproportionately affected by another, more pernicious...
The timing could hardly have been worse. PricewaterhouseCoopers, the nation's largest accounting firm, had just finished rolling out a series of full-page newspaper advertisements--bearing catchy t...
Eugene Munson's life just got a lot smaller. As a financial manager in Procter & Gamble's fabric and home-care business, he used to track sales and analyze coupon effectiveness for the likes of D...
The Securities and Exchange Commission held a small ceremony in late July to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Corporate Responsibility Act. That same day ...
Sniping! Backbiting! Bitter accusations! Forget the latest episode of The Restaurant, we're talking about the drama unfolding in the telecom world. Following months of whining that MCI (formerly Wo...
You're a fool and a chump. What other conclusion can we draw? You've bought shares in publicly traded companies, haven't you? Then as far as the rules and regulations are concerned, you're too dumb...
Richard Breeden spent the stormy Memorial Day weekend on his 78-foot yacht, racing from the Connecticut coast to Block Island and back. The all-night 185-mile trip through shifting winds, rain and ...
Paul Tebo is no one's idea of a revolutionary. A mild-mannered, gray-haired, 59-year-old chemical engineer, he has worked at DuPont for 35 years. He used to run the firm's $3-billion-a-year petroch...
From Ed Breen's office at Tyco, high above 57th Street in midtown Manhattan, Central Park looks like a beautiful painting. Forty-three stories up, you gaze down at the entire expanse of the park, a...
The law of unintended consequences spares no one, not even the sincerest lawmakers and regulators. So let's brace ourselves for the real effects of the recent well-intended efforts to fix the crisi...
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 ought to be renamed the Full-Employment Act for Lawyers, Accountants, and Insurance Executives. They're raking in fees that absolutely maul smaller public firms.
The food was good. The weather was heavenly. But the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia was not an especially joyous place in early October as 68 chief executives converged for a meeting of the sup...
In February 2000, Guy W. Adams, a Los Angeles investor, bought 1,000 shares of Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon for $9,200. Thanks to aggressive overexpansion, Lone Star's share price had dropped to a...
Even at a time when hunting for the "next Enron" has become a national sport, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts would seem a highly unlikely target. The North Carolina-based purveyor of crullers and Hot Origi...
What's your view of the new regulations coming out of Washington?
Help Wanted 2600 DIRECTOR Rub shoulders with Corp. elite. Big $, great perks, travel, stock options, Ideal hours (only 4X/yr.) No experience necessary.* *New regs may let you be personally sued. Yo...
In Fort Lauderdale, a struggling public company facing stiff competition was racking up big losses. Its shares had fallen by more than half, from a high near $40. In September 1998 the company's bo...
A subordinate has just stepped into your office to talk about his performance last year. It wasn't good, admittedly, just like the year before, and the year before that. Competitors beat his operat...
Richard Koppes dropped by the other day. Koppes is the former general counsel of the California Public Employees' Retirement System (Calpers). He and his boss, Dale Hanson--by virtue of their smart...
After years under a merciless spotlight, CEO pay has been about as thoroughly studied as cholesterol. Trouble is, in both cases real life sometimes upsets what we think we know. Consider how last y...
Who would have believed, a year ago, that the new shareholder activism would have come so far, so fast? But with the CEOs of GM, American Express, and Westinghouse thrown out, institutional shareho...
For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground And tell sad stories of the death of kings, How some have been depos'd, some slain in war, Some haunted by the ghosts they have depos'd, Some poison'd by ...
CEOS ARE PAID a lot to face facts, however unpleasant, so it's time they faced this one: The issue of their pay has finally landed on the national agenda and won't be leaving soon. It is now inevit...
A funny thing happened these past few years to the American corporation as it was well on its way to the global hegemony once divined for it by the French pundit Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber: It g...