Table: Kiss That Pay Raise Goodbye

Here's why 2001 promises to be a tough year for top executives:

STOCKS TANKED

With stocks down sharply, lots of execs are sitting on underwater options. A quarter of the CEOs at 200 top companies, including Kenneth Lay at Enron and Donald Carty at AMR, could be left with no in-the-money options by yearend.

PROFITS CRASHED

With revenues and profits collapsing, fewer CEOs will qualify for bonuses. National Semiconductor (NSM ), for instance, eliminated all bonuses for executives above the level of vice-president, including chief executive Brian Halla.

POWER SHIFTED

It's hard for most chief executives to point to stellar performance. Meanwhile, shareholders got whacked. That shifts the balance of power from CEOs to boards, giving them greater leverage in deciding pay packages.

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