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Executive Pay: Time for a Trim

FedEx's Fred Smith isn't the only CEO taking a haircut. A survey finds at least 40 companies have filed plans to cut executive salaries

Shipping giant FedEx (FDX) made headlines on Dec. 18 when, in an effort to save costs, it cut the salary of its founder and chief executive, Frederick W. Smith, by 20%. Blaming the worst economic conditions in the company's 35-year operating history, the Memphis company also trimmed salaries for senior FedEx officers by 7.5% to 10%.

But FedEx is not the only company reducing executive salaries in the face of a deepening recession. The day before, Motorola (MOT) cut the pay of its co-CEOs, Greg Brown and Sanjay Jha, by 25%. And computer hard-drive maker Western Digital (WDC) went even further, slashing its CEO's annual base salary by a third, to $600,000. Other officers' pay was also reduced by 15% to 25%.