Published On: Fri, Dec 16th, 2011

36.5% Rise in CEO Pay

American salaries are no longer stagnating — this according to a leading survey of CEO compensation. After two years of lower pay packages, chief executives at the nation’s major companies received a 36.5% pay hike last year.

CNN.com reported Thursday that the average pay hike is for the top executive at each of the Standard & Poor 500 companies, according to GMI, the research group. A broader survey of CEO pay at 3,000 companies posted an average 27% increase.

Senior research associate at GMI, Paul Hodgson said the sharp rise in pay was not aligned with the modest improvement that companies typically achieved in profits or share price during 2010.

Health care industry CEO’s experienced the most lucrative packages, with the two highest packages paid to John Hammergen of McKesson Corp., who received $145 million. Joel Gemunder, who retired in July 2010 as CEO of Omnicare received $98 million.

McKesson Corp. distributes drugs and health and beauty care products to pharmacies and Omnicare provides drugs to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

However, in public filings, both companies reported lower pay packages for the two executives. Neither company returned calls to CNNMoney, seeking comment.

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