Colorado CEOs earn in three days what the typical worker earns in a year, new disclosures show
April 20, 2018
It takes just three work days, on average, for the chief executive of a public company in Colorado to earn as much money as the typical worker at the same firm does in an entire year.
That's because CEOs in Colorado earn 94 times the median annual pay of their employees, according to a Denver Post analysis of filings of nearly three dozen of the largest companies in the state.
Companies are reporting "CEO pay ratios" that highlight the gap between company leaders and employees for the first time this spring, based on last year's pay numbers. In Colorado, those ratios range from a high of 814 times for Steve Ells, former CEO of Chipotle Mexican Grill, to zero for Dave Liniger, former co-CEO of Re/Max Holdings, who didn't take any pay at the real estate brokerage franchisor he founded after it went public in 2013.
The disclosures are the result of a law passed in 2010 during the first term of former President Barack Obama. It was controversial at the time — companies argued it would be burdensome to calculate and difficult to use to draw meaningful conclusions — and it remains so today.
But for labor groups and others trying to highlight problems of income inequality and pushing for more transparency in corporate behavior, the disclosures were worth waiting for.