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The Compensation Committee Handbook, 4th Edition by Michael L. Stevens, Stewart Reifler, James F. Reda

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CHAPTER 1 The Compensation Committee

One of the most important determinants of a successful corporate strategy is the quality of the compensation committee. The committee is charged with designing and implementing a compensation system that effectively rewards key players and encourages direct participation in the achievement of the organization's core business objectives.

Outstanding, well-integrated compensation strategy does not just happen. Rather, it is the product of the hard work of independent, experienced compensation committee members. The most effective pay strategies are simple in design, straightforward in application, and easy to communicate to management and investors. The pay program for the chief executive officer (CEO) should be in line with pay programs for the company's other executives and with its broad-based incentive programs. In other words, there should be no conflict in the achievement of objectives, and the potential rewards should be as meaningful to all participants as to the CEO.

The United States is unique in its vast number of high-earning entrepreneurs, entertainers, athletes, lawyers, consultants, Wall Street traders, bankers, analysts, investment managers, and other professionals. Yet, it is the pay levels of corporate executives, in particular CEOs, that stir the most heated debate and controversy. It is estimated that the bull market of the 1990s created over 10 million new millionaires whose wealth was derived almost solely from stock ...

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