Graef Crystal, a San Diego consultant, has created a list of America's most underpaid and overpaid CEOs. After reviewing salaries from 2000 through 2002 for 243 CEOs, Crystal calls auto supplier SPX Corp.'s John Blystone the third-most-overpaid CEO, with average annual pay of $51.3 million. Ahead of Blystone are Steven Jobs of Apple Computers ($218.9 million) and John Chambers of Cisco Systems ($87.3 million). Crystal says Dana Corp.'s Joe Magliochetti is the most underpaid CEO, with a three-year average of $2.8 million. Also on the list: Sonic Automotive's Bruton Smith (No. 7, $1.9 million) and UnitedAuto Group's Roger Penske (No. 13, $882,000). Crystal doesn't count perks, such as stock options.
GETTING AN EARFUL IN THE '80S - For some people, the so-called good old days were anything but. Mark LaNeve, general manager at Cadillac, recalls what it was like to work in Cadillac's customer relations office in Los Angeles in the early 1980s. "I started there answering phones all day from angry customers," he said last week. "At that time, we had 8-6-4 engines (an early attempt at displacement on demand) that didn't work. Diesel engines that didn't work. Transmissions that didn't work. We actually had a V-6 - people don't remember that - that was underpowered. So I like to say I had the best job security in the company."
BUT CAN HE CLOSE A DEAL? If you walk into Pearson Ford in Zionsville, Ind., you'll see a GT. Actually, the GT. That's the store's pet cockatiel, named for the Ford supercar that arrives next year. A local newspaper says GT is a big hit with shoppers. A dealership secretary is trying to teach GT to say "Pearson" - but all it knows now is "Pretty bird.
THE UTE VOTE - Big SUVs could find either a friend or foe in California's governor's office should one of two high-profile candidates win the race. In one corner is Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Hummer aficionado. In another is Arianna Huffington, author and crusader who would like SUVs to disappear. Auto execs in California have been mum on the race, but Bert Boeckmann, owner of Galpin Ford in North Hills, has some thoughts on Huffington. "She's extremely bright and articulate, but not right for that job," he says. "She doesn't understand people's choices in transportation very well."