Whether their personal wealth is any indicator of the health of the U.S. economy remains to be seen, but the nation's top CEOs got big raises last year.
Research of the top 200 chief executives at public companies with at least $1 billion in revenue, published this morning by The New York Times, found that the median 2012 pay package was approximately $15 million, an increase of 16 percent over 2011.
"It's good to be king," wrote the Times' Gretchen Morgenson.
Oracle CEO Lawrence Ellison topped the list, with a total compensation package of $96.2 million in 2012.
The median of combined stock and option awards last year was 60 percent of total pay.
But Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett-Packard—who was ranked 92 on the list—only received $1 in salary with the rest of her $15.4 million coming in the form of bonuses, stock and perks.
Interestingly enough, Hewlett-Packard shareholders saw a 46 percent drop in returns during 2012, according to the research.
Another CEO of note to Idaho was Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant, who pulled down $13 million in 2012, while his company reported $1.5 billion in revenues.
"Far too often, though, measures used by company boards to evaluate performance are focused on short-term results," wrote the Times' Morgenson. "They often miss a crucial element that determines long-term success: the ability to innovate."
According to Mark Van Clieaf, managing director at MVC Associates International, an organization consulting firm, "70 to 80 percent of companies have no metrics for measuring the impact of new products or services that were launched."