Most people are already aware of the dramatic income disparity between CEOs and their companies’ employees, but sometimes really looking at the enormity of this disparity is extremely sobering.
The pay gap between U.S. CEOs and their median workers has been elucidated in a recent report from Glassdoor, which looked at data from 2014. The average pay ratio of CEO to median worker was 204 to 1. At the top of the list, four CEOs actually earn more than 1,000 times the salary of their median worker.
The biggest gap was at media company Discovery Communications, where CEO David Zaslav earned $156.1 million last year, nearly 1,951 times the firm’s median salary of $80,000.
Following him in the next three top slots were Chipotle boss Steve Ells, who earned $28.9 million, or 1,522 times the median salary of $19,000; CVS Health CEO Larry Merlo, whose $32.4 million pay was nearly 1,192 times that of the median worker’s $27,139; and Walmart chief Doug McMillon, who made $25.6 million last year, about 1,133 times the median employee’s $22,591.
Among those speaking out the most passionately about this topic is Democratic presidential hopeful, Bernie Sanders. “The decision to require companies to disclose how much more CEOs are paid than workers is an important step in the fight against income inequality,” Sanders said earlier in August of the SEC’s new rule that would require companies to disclose the ratio of CEO pay to that of the median worker.
“I hope that shining a spotlight on the disparity will help working families,” Sanders said.