Indiana CEOs make 260 times as much as workers

Lear Corp.'s new Hammond plant is shown. Lear CEO Ray Scott made 987 times more than the company's median employee last year, according to AFL-CIO union's annual Executive Paywatch report.

Top corporate executives in Indiana made 260 times more than workers at S&P 500 companies and 154 times more than workers at Russell 3000 firms last year.

The AFL-CIO union released its annual Executive Paywatch report that found that chief executive officers in Indiana made an average of $11.77 million at S&P 500 companies and $6.99 million at Russell 3000 businesses in 2018. The average worker in Indiana took home $45,290 last year.

Nationwide, the average S&P 500 CEO made $14.5 million, or 287 times more than their employees.

The Washington, D.C.-based union, which represents more than 12 million active and retired workers across a variety of industries nationwide, said the gap has been getting worse over the past decade. The study found CEO pay has risen by $5.2 million over the past 10 years, or more than half a million a year, while rank-and-file worker pay has risen by $7,858, less than $800 a year.

The pay discrepancy was not as stark among Northwest Indiana companies.

Locally, CEO Joseph Hamrock, of Merrillville-based NiSource, the parent company of NIPSCO, made $5.78 million last year, or 59 times more than the median employee at the company, according to the study. Michael Rechin, of Muncie-based First Merchants Bank, which has an extensive footprint across Northwest Indiana, earned $2.05 million, or 48 times more than the bank's median employee.

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Christopher Murphy, CEO of South Bend-based 1st Source Bank, which has many branches in Porter and LaPorte counties, took home $1.67 million, or 36 times more than the bank's median employee.

Craig Dwight, the CEO of Michigan City-based Horizon Bank, received $1.16 million in compensation in 2018, or 28 times more than the bank's median employee.

The pay gap was, however, much more pronounced among major Northwest Indiana industrial employers that are headquartered out of state.

U.S. Steel CEO David Burritt made $11.59 million in 2018, which was 157 times more than the steelmaker's median employee, the AFL-CIO found. 

Ford Motor Co. CEO James Hackett earned $17.75 million last year, or 276 times more than the automaker's median employee.

Lear Corp. Raymond Scott took home $9.94 million in pay in 2018, which was 987 times more than the auto parts supplier's median worker.


Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.