By Barry Eitel
SAN FRANCISCO (AA) - Chief executives at the biggest companies in the United States saw an average pay raise of 4.5 percent in 2015, according to a report on the most profitable companies.
CEOs saw raises increase at a rate nearly double that of the typical American workers, according to the report released Wednesday by research firm Equilar and The Associated Press.
The raises were apparently not connected to whether stockholders earned profits.
The median full-time worker in the U.S. took home about $42,000 in 2015 -- up from $41,100 in 2014.
However, the raise earned by the median CEO last year, $468,449, was more than 10 times that.
For companies earning at least $1 billion annually, the median CEO salary was $10.8 million, up from $10.3 million the previous year.
The number includes bonuses, stock options and other forms of compensation.
The 500 largest companies listed on the American stock market, though, have actually seen their combined shares lose value during the course of 2015. The index dropped sharply in August 2015 and then fell even further between December 2015 and February 2016.
On Wednesday, it was worth only slightly more than in January 2015.
Interestingly, Equilar found that female CEOs earn much more than their male counterparts, but they represent a tiny sliver of all chief executives.
"Of the 341 executives in the study, just 17 were female," Equilar said in a statement Wednesday. "However, those female executives earned a median $18.0 million, compared to $10.5 million at the median for the 324 male executives."
The highest paid CEOs last year worked in technology. Mark Hurd and Safra Catz, co-CEOs of software maker Oracle since 2014, each made $53.2 million in 2015 -- about 1,300 times the median salary for American workers.