Executive Pay

The Shareholders Strike Back Angry investors and the public have long been shocked by the millions that some corporate bosses make. Now it's becoming the hot issue at annual meetings.

AT THE HYATT REGENCY IN Pittsburgh last week, senior managers of the $3.3 billion bank holding company Equimark sat in miserable silence while a shareholder, retired C.P.A. Joseph Cestello, scolded them for their "outrageously generous" compensation, including stock options and hefty retirement pay. Cestello even suggested that the company's board resign "for lack of oversight" and demanded that Equimark, whose losses totaled $148 million in the past two years, adopt policies that would tie pay to performance.

There is nothing unusual about gadflies and dissidents using yearly stockholder gatherings to air their gripes, while executives wait in patient condescension and other...

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