Big Ohio CEOs Make More Than 300 Times Their Average Employees

Share on Nextdoor
click to enlarge Protesters taped fake money to their clothes; Frank's Fat Cat Festival Protest (6/28/17) - Sam Allard / Scene
Sam Allard / Scene
Protesters taped fake money to their clothes; Frank's Fat Cat Festival Protest (6/28/17)
Many of Ohio's top CEOs make more than 300 times their average employees, a new report by Policy Matters Ohio has found. Data reported to the security and exchange commission showed that the median salary for CEOs at the 54 Ohio corporations that filed reports was $14.6 million. 

Most of these corporations paid their CEO more than 200 times what they paid typical employees and more than a quarter of them paid their CEO more than 500 times as much. At six companies, even wider disparities were reported. At those, the CEO was paid more than 1,000 times their median employee.

At 16 of these 54 Ohio corporations, the median salary was below the federal poverty level for a family of four, ($25,000).

“Whether a janitor keeping the office clean and safe or a Fortune 500 CEO cutting deals in the board room, it takes everyone to make an enterprise run,” said Policy Matters Researcher Michael Shields, in a press release on the new report. “Many Ohioans are risking their health to perform critical jobs. Many others have been laid off. Meanwhile, CEOs at major Ohio employers are insulated from the ways their workforce experiences the pandemic.”

In the most extreme cases, the median employee of these corporations are part-time workers earning hourly wages. Ohio-based Abercrombie & Fitch, for example, pays CEO Fran Horowitz 3,250 times more than the typical employees, who tend to be retail workers earning $10 or $11 per hour.

The report noted that year by year, it's not only CEO pay that continues to rise, but the ratio between executives and their typical employees. This illustrates the widening gulf between society's top earners and everyone else. In 1965, nationwide, CEOs made roughly 20 times more than their average employees. Last year, they made 320 times more than their average employees.

“Corporations are increasing CEO pay faster than the economy is growing, while holding down pay for most workers,” said Shields, in the release. “This is not about productivity or skills: It’s about CEOs’ ability to set their own pay. Policymakers don’t have to stand for it."

The report suggested a number of policy solutions, including increasing taxes on corporations with large CEO-to-employee pay ratios and, at the state and local level, disqualifying those corporations for economic development subsidies.

Sign up for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on Cleveland news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.

About The Author

Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
Scroll to read more Cleveland News articles


Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.