AMD CEO Lisa Su and CDW CEO Christine Leahy are among the most ‘undervalued’ Fortune 500 chiefs
Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Friends and family advocate for Brittney Griner’s release, the Bidens visit Uvalde, Texas, and female CEOs rank among the ‘undervalued’ chiefs on the Fortune 500. Have a great Tuesday.
– Maximum wage. A new Fortune franchise debuted just before the holiday weekend: Maximum Wage, or the most overpaid CEOs on the Fortune 500. Fortune senior writer Maria Aspan and list editor Scott DeCarlo crunched the numbers to figure out which chief executives’ compensation packages are out of whack with value delivered to shareholders.
Their rankings “analyzed the compensation and stock performance of the 280 Fortune 500 CEOs who have been in their jobs for at least three years.” They scored and ranked each CEO based on four factors: “total three-year CEO compensation; three-year share performance relative to that of their industry peers; annualized share performance over the CEO’s total tenure; and how that performance compared to the S&P 500 over the same period.”
Unsurprisingly, given their meager 8.8% representation among Fortune 500 chiefs as a whole, female CEOs did not rank among the 10 most overpaid. (Some came close, including Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass, GM CEO Mary Barra, and Occidental Petroleum CEO Vicki Hollub, who all declined or didn’t respond to requests for comment.)
These rankings, however, didn’t just reveal who is the most overpaid, justifiably an issue of rising concern amid soaring executive compensation, record inflation, and widening income inequality. In 2021, Fortune 500 CEOs earned 205 times what their typical employee did. But the methodology also revealed who is undervalued, at least by Fortune 500 CEO standards.
CDW CEO Christine A. Leahy and AMD CEO Lisa Su are among the most “undervalued” CEOs on the Fortune 500. That doesn’t mean their compensation is low—Su, for example, earned an average of $110 million over the past three years. But she earned AMD shareholders a 48% annualized return during her tenure as chief executive. Scoring that performance, compared to the market returns of AMD’s industry competitors and the S&P 500, supports the argument that despite Su’s inarguably high compensation, she’s actually earned even higher value for investors.
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