The Wall Street Journal pay survey is a fascinating read. My initial impression was surprise that Steve Jobs was only number five. But the thing that shocked me the most is that Barry Diller, the CEO of IACI, is number two on that list, having made $1.14B over the years 2000-1010.
This is egregious. Not because Barry Diller is incompetent. He's a a smart guy, and a media visionary. It's because it's way out of line with what his company did. If you include Expedia shares, an IACI spinoff, IACI shareholders lost 18% over the decade period in which Dillar's compenstation was measured, according to the Wall Street Journal. In fact, IACI alone stock fell 80% during the time that Barry Diller made $1B.
IACI's market cap, today, is $2.6B. Expedia is worth about $6B. Barry Diller raked in $1B over 10 years. Whoa.
Compare it with Steve Jobs, a measly number five on the list, who took out only $749 million from Apple over the 10-year period, while Apple's market cap grew to a staggering $240B, creating enormous amounts of shareholder value.
Diller's pay even looks odd to Larry Ellison, who is number one on the list. Ellison made $1.8B over 10 years but his company is worth $123B and churns out $8B in cash flow per year. If you think in terms of Ellison only taking out 1/8th of one year's cash flow over 10 years, it doesn't seem that high at all, considering this was the company he founded.
Diller points out that many of the gains came from shares he excercised from earlier periods, so in fact the gains are over a longer period. It just doesn't matter when you stack up IACI and Expedia against Apple. Diller comes out looking greedy. He's trying, though.