Wal-Mart and McDonalds CEOs Make More Than Their Employees Dream Of

Connor Simpson
December 12, 2012
Wal-Mart and McDonalds CEOs Make More Than Their Employees Dream Of

We feel for you, burger-line cooks and retail workers of America. You do hero's work. But the men who run your giant employers, well, they make an alarming amount of money — especially when you put it in the context of your own paycheck.

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Today Bloomberg looked at the pay difference of an average McDonald's cook and that of the company's new CEO, Don Johnson. The story follows a cook who works at two separate McDonald's in Chicago for $8.25 an hour, the legal minimum wage in Illinois. Assuming Johnson makes the same amount per year as his predecessor, which would be $8.75 million/year, the head of McDonald's would have to work 1,060,606 hours as a line cook to maintain his salary. "The $8.75 million that Thompson’s predecessor as CEO, Skinner, made last year was 580 times," according to Bloomberg's calculations

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It doesn't get any better for retail workers, though. Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke told a conference today that Wal-Mart pays "competitive wages" and that the company serves "an emerging middle class." As the Huffington Post points out, Duke's $18.7 million 2010 salary certainly is competitive for a CEO, though maybe not for the rest of the companies employees. Wal-Mart's employees make at or around the same amount as McDonald's employees. Think of how many hours Duke would need to put in on the floor to make his paycheck. "With a CEO-to-employee pay ratio of 717-to-1, that ranks Duke second among a list of 50 CEOs who are paid significantly more than their employees," HuffPo estimates. Like we said, we feel for you.