The Importance of Competitive CEO Salaries
Indeed. Higher pay is absolutely necessary to attract the cream of the crop, those whose resumes have the longest and most impressive lists of organizations that they have mismanaged and run into the ground. If corporations paid lower CEO salaries, they might have to promote their senior management from below, maybe even from (gasp) the ranks of production workers, rather than trying to attract resume carpetbaggers with a history of milking one organization after another and then moving on. Instead of clueless pointy-haired bosses with MBA Disease, who rely on "industry trends" to identify "best practices" on which to base their policies (i.e., who base their understanding of "what works" mainly on the perspectives of equally clueless idiots at the tops of other organizations), they might start making policy based on feedback from below, from the productive workers of their own organizations--the people who actually know something about how to make things more efficient. But then you might have to make it worth their while to improve the process, by changing the downhill flow of the shit river and rewarding them for their contributions. You might have to seriously think about (gasp) higher pay for production workers instead of for desk-bound parasites.
Addendum. In the comments, Presto links to a NYT article on executive compensation consultants. As Presto comments,
People defending these "consultants" as giving any kind of objective advice rearding executive pay... are deluding themselves. They are simply paid to give the people who hired them justification to pay the exorbitant compensation that they want.
In the comments to an earlier thread, Jon Husband of Wirearchy, a former compensation consultant, confirms that view.
I get the impression that the Famous Artists School would be more likely to turn you down for your poor skill at drawing that pirate on the matchbook, than an "executive compensation consultant" would be to recommend against higher CEO pay.