The rates of increase in CEO pay at large S&P index firms were up to four times higher than those at small S&P index firms, according to a recently released report by the Corporate Library, an independent provider of corporate governance and executive compensation data.
The median increase in total compensation at large companies was 22 percent from 2006 to 2007, while total compensation for S&P 500 CEOs are mid-level companies was 15 percent.
CEOs at smallcap firms, on the other hand, saw a median increase of 5.5 percent, according to the survey.
Total actual compensation increases far outpace rises in annual compensation, which includes base salary and annual cash bonuses.
"While 2007 was a relatively unsuccessful year for many companies, and this can be seen in the single digit increases in total annual compensation, this had yet to affect equity compensation," said Paul Hodgson, a senior research associate at the Corporate Library and co-author of the report. "On the other hand, total annual compensation did not go down."
The survey examined compensation at over 3,000 companies in the United States and Canada.
Median total actual compensation for the CEOs surveyed was a little more than $2,000,000, but levels varied significantly.