Compensation at Whole Foods Market [the link that Whole Foods broke was removed]
Most large companies also pay their executives large amounts of stock options in addition to large salaries and cash bonuses. However, this is not the case at Whole Foods Market. As the chart below indicates, the average large corporation in the United States distributes 75% of their total stock options to only 5 top executives with the remaining 25% going to everyone else in the company (actually most of the remaining 25% goes to the next level of executives below the top 5). At Whole Foods, the exact opposite is true: the top 16 executives have received 7% of all the options granted while the other 93% of the options have been distributed throughout the entire company with all Team Members eligible for a grant after 6,000 hours of service to the company.
This is the kind of data you would expect if people are the organization’s most important resource. If instead senior management thinks the company exists to fund their lavish lifestyle and only needs to do other things like provide value to customers, reward investors, provide meaningful work to all employees… as a way of funding lavish living by CEOs you get the behavior discussed in: Graph of Obscene CEO Pay, More on Overpaid CEO’s and Excessive Executive Pay.
Whole Foods CEO Pay [the broken link was removed]
Related: Excessive Executive Pay – The Purpose of an Organization – Warren Buffett’s Shareholder Letter – Starbucks: Respect for Workers and Health Care
It’s disappointing that more companies do not continue to make broad-based stock option grants. These are good wealth builders for middle-class employees, plus sharing equity can improve company performance. The National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) in a recent review of studies concluded that “Research continues to show that broad-based plans contribute positively corporate performance and shareholder returns; narrowly focused plans generally do not and often have a negative impact.”