May 22, 2023 - Business

Charted: Richmond's highest-paid CEOs

Change in total compensation for highest-paid Richmond region CEOs, 2021 to 2022
Data: SEC; Table: Rahul Mukherjee/Axios

Richmond-area CEOs saw big swings in their compensation in 2022 as the stock market posted its worst year since 2008.

What's happening: We analyzed financial disclosures from 19 publicly traded firms in the region.

  • We found 10 chief executives saw big drops in compensation, and nine saw increases.

Zoom in: The leader of Henrico-based armored car company Brink's, Doug Pertz, faced the largest salary cut. His compensation dropped by just under $5 million, per the company's SEC filings.

  • And Capital One CEO Richard Fairbank saw the biggest increase, with his total compensation rising by over $7 million.

Between the lines: CEO base pay largely remained steady. Instead, the changes in salary are almost all tied to fluctuations in stock and retirement benefits — both closely tied to the market.

What we're watching: Publicly traded companies are now required to disclose the ratio of CEO compensation to that of the average employee.

  • Capital One posted the highest ratio of any company with a predominantly U.S.-based workforce, paying Fairbank a wage that is 296 times higher than its median employee pay of $93,310.
  • Bank and mortgage lender C&F Financial reported the smallest gap, with its CEO's salary of $1.1 million coming in at 13 times higher than the company's median pay, $87,794.

Of note: Local companies with large foreign workforces reported the largest discrepancies between CEO and median worker pay.

  • Universal Corp., a multinational tobacco company, reported its median employee made just $2,000, which it explained in SEC filings was a result of its "significant reliance on unskilled, seasonal workers during the tobacco processing periods throughout the world."

✈️ We also tracked which companies reported subsidizing their CEO's personal use of corporate jets and planes.

  • Four CEO's received the benefit, per the filings: Owens & Minor's George Freeman, CarMax's Bill Nash, Altria's William Gifford and Dominion Energy's Bob Blue.
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