$41 Million is Chicken Scratch Compared to What Stumpf Earned at Wells Fargo

Author: NBC News

Wowak Adam Web

While $41 million might sound like a lot of money to most Americans, when you're Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, it's really not. At least not when compared with the size of the rest of the paychecks he collected during his tenure at the head of the disgraced bank.

For his past 10 years at Wells Fargo — including his stint as CEO that began in 2007 — Stumpf reportedly collected roughly $192 million, including salary, bonuses, stock incentives and other compensation. Last year alone, he pulled down a $2.8 million salary and $12.5 million in restricted stock.

According to compensation data and research company Equilar, that salary was lofty even by big-company standards: In 2015, the median salary for a CEO at a company in the S&P 500 was $1.1 million.

Stumpf's best year at the helm of Wells Fargo was 2012. In addition to that $2.8 million salary and a $4 million bonus, he also collected $12.5 million in restricted stock awards and nearly $3.6 million in other compensation — just under $23 million in total.

From 2006 to 2008, Stumpf was granted a little over $17 million in stock options — a form of compensation researchers say can prompt greater risk taking on the part of CEOs.

"Options across lots of different industries and contexts have generally been shown to increase risk taking," said Adam Wowak, assistant professor of management at the University of Notre Dame.

"To some extent, that's intentional," he said. "CEOs are assumed to be more risk averse than shareholders might like," so giving them the chance to buy stock at a below-market price gives them an incentive to see shares rise.

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