How Much Should A CEO Make?

How Much Should A CEO Make?


Executives of big companies often make more than their employees.

  • But how much more is too much more?
  • Is there such thing as too much for a boss to make?

According to Swiss voters, the answer is no.

Switzerland voted overwhelmingly to overturn a measure which would have capped executive compensation to 12 times what the lowest-paid employee makes.

While such a proposal would likely not even come to a vote in South Africa, it raised a bit of an eyebrow that the measure did not pass in Europe, even if Switzerland does tend to go its own way from the rest of the continent.

For half a year, Switzerland has been embroiled in a tense campaign, led on the labour side by the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland and led on the other by leaders in the business community.

Advocates for the 1:12 measure said that no executive in a company should make in one month what another employee makes in a year. Opponents of the measure said that limiting executive compensation would make Switzerland less competitive for businesses and entrepreneurs.

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Catherine Clifford
Catherine Clifford is a staff writer at Previously, she was the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Catherine attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. Email her at You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.