Ranking executive pay

California companies paid, on average, 10 percent less to its CEOs in 2007, according to the LAT's annual round-up. But many of the numbers among the list of 100 are still huge. At the top is Occidental CEO Ray Irani, whose compensation last year was $77.63 million, according to the Times, a nearly 40 percent increase from a year earlier (other publications arrive at different numbers, depending on what items you're including). Mattel CEO Robert Eckert saw his total pay jump 89.3 percent, to $11.35 million. But in general, the numbers were modest - at least relative to the craziness of the previous few years. The CEO at homebuilder Ryland Group took a 55 percent pay cut, and even Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo was at $10.8 million, compared with $48.1 million a year earlier (although he made a bunch more through stock gains that weren't included by the Times).

State laws and corporate bylaws are being changed to make it easier for disgruntled shareholders to oust directors who are willing to approve outsize pay packages. As a result, institutional investors have recently organized efforts to oust directors at nearly 100 major U.S. companies. "Investors have stopped getting mad about executive pay and started getting even," said Patrick McGurn, executive vice president of Institutional Shareholder Services, which advises big shareholders on corporate governance issues. "They are saying that if you are going to approve these plans, we are going to vote against the heads of the compensation committees."

Here are some local players near the top of the list:

1)Occidental Petroleum - Ray Irani $77.63 million
5)Walt Disney - Robert Eiger $27.70 million
7)Northrop - Ronald Sugar $20.58 million
8)Amgen - Kevin Sharer $19.91 million
10)Computer Sciences - Van Honeycutt $16.97 million
11KB Home - Jeffrey Mezger $16.38
12)Robert Half International - Harold Messmer $15.41 million
15)Ryland Group - Chad Dreier $14.26 million
18)DirecTV - Chase Carey $13.93 million
26)Edison International - John Bryson $11.73 million
28)Mattel - Robert Eckert $11.35 million

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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