Live & Touring

Live Nation’s Rapino enjoys widest CEO-to-Worker Fortune 500 pay gap, says study

Live Nation Entertainment President and CEO Michael Rapino got the largest compensation package of any Fortune 500 executive last year at $139 million.

The package included his $3 million base salary, a $6 million signing fee for renewing his contract for 5 years, a $12 million performance bonus for 2022, and stock awards of $116 million, some of which will vest in early 2024, with others vesting through 2027 based on stock price targets.

In July, 54% of Live Nation stockholders voted against the compensation package for Rapino and other top executives, but the Board remained unmoved. “We believe that the fiscal year 2022 compensation paid to our named executive officers was appropriate and aligned with Live Nation’s fiscal year 2022 results,” they said in a statement.

5414x CEO-to-Worker pay gap

During that same period, the median paycheck for Live Nation employees was just $25,673, according to SEC filings examined by the Institute For Policy Studies. That meant that Live Nation and Rapino also broke another record with a CEO-to-median worker pay gap of 5,414 times.

The average pay of the lowest wage 100 company CEOs was $15.3 million, and their median worker pay averaged $31,672 in 2022.

“In response to strikes and union organizing drives, corporate leaders routinely insist that they simply lack the wherewithal to raise employee pay,” the report said. “And yet top executives seem to have little trouble finding resources for enriching themselves and wealthy shareholders.

Read the full report here.

Bruce Houghton is the Founder and Editor of Hypebot, a Senior Advisor at Bandsintown, President of the Skyline Artists Agency, and a Berklee College Of Music professor.

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