Heres a Running List of CEO Pay Cuts During Coronavirus Crisis

First, the coronavirus outbreak hit the restaurant, hotel and airline industries. Their revenues dried up as people everywhere take on social distancing to slow the spread of the virus. 

Other industries like the movie theater industry, which has more than 150,000 workers, are also in serious trouble as cash flow goes to zero and hourly workers are being told to stay at home. Now the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak have created a domino effect that has not yet been stemmed by the coronavirus stimulus bill passed by congress.

With unemployment spiking wildly from a few hundred thousand to 3.3 million and then 6.6 million in the span of two weeks, many CEOs have responded by taking a pay cut.


To be clear, these pay cuts are hitting their base salary, which is often a very small percentage of their overall compensation. For example, Delta CEO Ed Bastian’s base salary is $891,667, according to the latest proxy statement from the company. That’s 6% of his $14.9 million total compensation package — which is based on stock awards, option awards, and other types of compensation that aren’t connected to the company’s stock price. 

This is due to incentive compensation; Delta’s board wants the share price to go up, so it aligns Bastian’s compensation accordingly by giving him lots of shares instead of a big base salary. Still, cutting the base salary to do something to stem the financial bleeding is likely appreciated by his workforce.

Here’s a list of the cuts so far:

Airlines and transportation


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, left, and Delta Air Lines’ CEO Ed Bastian shake hands during a ceremony at the new $3.9 billion Terminal C at LaGuardia Airport in October 2019. Bastian cut his salary early and Cuomo has captained the outbreak’s response in the epicenter of the American outbreak. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Delta (DAL) CEO Ed Bastian: “As I mentioned last week, I’ve cut my own salary by 100 percent through the next six months. Our Board of Directors elected to forego their compensation over the next six months as well.”

Alaska Air (ALK) CEO Brad Tilden cutting base salary to zero.

United (UAL) CEO Oscar Munoz and President Scott Kirby “will forego their base salary at least through June 2020.”

Southwest (LUV) CEO Gary Kelly taking a 10% pay cut

JetBlue (JBLU) CEO Robin Hayes is taking a 20% pay cut

Allegiant (ALGT) CEO Maurice Gallagher and President John Redmond take full pay cut.

Spirit (SAVE) CEO Edward Christie is taking a pay cut.

IndiGo’s (INDIGO.NS) CEO Ronojoy Dutta is taking a 25% pay cut.


Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery, File)

British Airways (IAG) CEO Willie Walsh is taking a 25% pay cut.

Lyft (LYFT) co-founders John Zimmer and Logan Green pledged to donate their salaries through June.

Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) CEO Mike Manley has halved his salary for three months and chair John Elkann has cut his entire base compensation until year end.

Fedex (FDX) CEO Fred Smith slashed his pay as the company pulled $1.5 billion from a credit line.

Royal Caribbean (RCL) CEO Richard Fain is foregoing pay until September and other executives are taking 25% pay cuts.

Hospitality

Marriott (MAR) CEO Arne Sorenson has joined the airlines in taking a pay cut, as the hotel industry revenues have been slammed as well. “I will not be taking any salary for the balance of 2020 and my executive team will be taking a 50% cut in pay,” Sorenson said.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (WH) CEO Geoff Ballotti has dropped his base compensation to zero, according to an 8K filing.

Conglomerate

As GE (GE) lays off 10% of its aviation workforce, CEO Lawrence Culp is foregoing his “full” salary. It is not clear whether this means his full base salary or his total compensation. Furthermore, David Joyce, vice chairman of GE and president and CEO of GE Aviation, “will forgo half of his salary,” the company announced. On April 16, other executives under Culp pledged to forego 25% of their salaries and vice presidents 10%.

Disney (DIS) CEO Bob Chapek will be taking a 50% pay cut, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The company said all VP level executives will get a 20% reduction in salary starting April 5, according to Variety.

Comcast (CMCSA) CEO and chair Brian Roberts will be donating his salary to COVID-19 charities and has set up a $500 million fund for employees.

Retail

Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle has reduced his $3.3 million salary to $10,000 to support affected employees after the company closed stores.

Callaway (ELY) CEO Chip Brewer is foregoing his salary.

Media

Fox (FOX) chair Rupert Murdoch and CEO Lachlan Murdoch are foregoing their salaries. According to the company, this should affect 700 jobs.

Ethan Wolff-Mann is a writer at Yahoo Finance focusing on consumer issues, personal finance, retail, airlines, and more. Follow him on Twitter @ewolffmann.

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