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Lower median salaries reflect industrial base
If the highest-paid chief executive officer of a Wisconsin-based public company were to work a 40-hour week, he would have earned $1,957.30 an hour in 1996. The lowest-paid CEO of a local public company made $31.73 an hour on the same schedule.
In between the two are executives who make at least six figures and some that are well above seven. Bonuses for the company leadership, which generally are based on stock growth and other corporate performance standards, make up the lion's share of the mega-paychecks.
HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH? Chief executives of public companies in southeastern Wisconsin average salaries well below their counterparts in the rest of the country. Annual revenue Local firms Local median Nat'l median More than $5 billion 3 $2,472,339 $1,447,640 $2 billion-$3 billion 4 $841,583 $1,065,752 $1 billion-$2 billion 7 $856,379 $824,259 $500 million-$1 billion 10 $562,054 $706,247 Less than $500 million 24 $421,255 $514,298 All companies 48 $757,370 $918,450
But the big salaries aren't all they appear. Based on a sample of 48 public companies with headquarters in southeastern Wisconsin - about half of ali the public companies in the state - the median executive salary last year was $757,370. The national median was $918,450. The wages of CEOs nationwide increased about 15 percent, while in Wisconsin they grew a modest 3 percent.
Both the below-average …