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Looking for Fair Pay? 5 Companies With the Best CEO-to-Worker Pay Ratio

Most workers understand that the guy (and sadly, it's still usually a guy) at the top of the corporate hierarchy is going to earn more than they do -- a lot more. After all, he's the one who has to pick up the pieces if the company falls apart. In some companies, however, the difference between the CEO's salary and workers' pay isn't quite as steep.

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(Photo Credit: Tax Credits/Flickr)

PayScale's recent data package Putting CEO Pay in Perspective highlights the companies that have the best CEO-to-worker pay ratios. Note: Google and Sears are not on this list. Both their CEOs have salaries of $1 per year, making their CEO-to-worker pay ratio 0:1.

Here's the rest of the companies at the top of the list:

1. Hewlett-Packard (HPQ)

CEO: Margaret C. Whitman

CEO Total Cash Compensation: $535,335

Typical Worker Pay: $84,500

Ratio: 6.34

2. Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA)

CEO: Warren E. Buffett

CEO Total Cash Compensation: $485,606

Typical Worker Pay: $56,900

Ratio: 8.53

3. Microsoft (MSFT)

CEO: Steven A. Ballmer

CEO Total Cash Compensation: $1,261,218

Typical Worker Pay: $114,500

Ratio: 11.02

4. Oracle (ORCL)

CEO: Lawrence J. Ellison

CEO Total Cash Compensation: $1,547,057

Typical Worker Pay: $104,500

Ratio: 14.80

5. Costco (COST)

CEO: W. Craig Jelinek

CEO Total Cash Compensation: $828,448

Typical Worker Pay: $45,700

Ratio: 18.13

A few more facts about the companies in PayScale's analysis:


  • In addition to having one of the smallest CEO-to-worker ratios (0), Google also has the highest typical median pay for workers ($115,900).
  • Whirlpool employees report having the highest level of job satisfaction (88 percent), while Express Scripts employees have the lowest (51 percent).
  • ConocoPhillips employees are the least stressed, with 57 percent of employees reporting low job stress, while Goldman Sachs employees are have the fewest low-stress employees, at 14 percent.
  • Ninety-seven percent of Intel employees would recommend their job, while only 62 percent of Walgreen employees would do so.


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Does your company have a good CEO-to-worker pay ratio? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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