COMPAS Poll/Survey
May 28, 2012

Stock Options-CEO Aspirants Want Them While the Institute for the Governance of Private and Public Organizations and the COMPAS Business Panel Have Serious Reservations

  Weekly CEO/Business Leader Poll by COMPAS in Canadian Business
Policy and Opinion
Consumer and Lifestyle
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Following an announcement by the Institute for the Governance of Private and Public Organizations expressing reservations about stock options for the CEOs of publicly traded corporations, COMPAS consulted the COMPAS business panel for its views.

Panelists, many of whom own their own firms, said that they themselves would overwhelmingly want stock options for themselves if placed in a senior position in a public company (table 2.3). But they have reservations that stock options are good for the companies themselves (table 2.2). A majority of panelists believes that
  • stock options increase the possibility of high risk corporate behaviour to achieve short-term inflated stock prices;
  • stock options increase the possibility of accounting misrepresentation of the true financial strength of a firm; and
  • governments should eliminate all tax benefits (personal and corporate) that favour stock options as a means of compensation
Reservations about stock options come at a time of seeming increased reservations about the pay packages offered to the CEOs of public companies (table 2.1).

These are the key findings from this past week's Internet survey of CEOs and business leaders on the COMPAS panel. The weekly business survey is undertaken for Canadian Business magazine.

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