Hawaii CEO rose only slightly in 2022, but critics say executive salaries are still too high
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A tougher business climate and higher interest rates led to smaller pay raises for Hawaii’s top CEOs last year.
But critics complain that local CEO compensation is still too high.
Company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission show that average CEO compensation in Hawaii rose just 2% in 2022 to about $3.4 million.
But Sergio Alcubilla, co-executive director of the Hawaii Workers Center, said it’s still more than 30 times the average household income in Hawaii.
“It’s a shame,” said Alcubilla.
“There’s such a disparity between our working class and you know, the upper level, I believe, we need about $122,000 in order to be considered middle class here in Hawaii.”
The companies defend what they pay their top executives, saying their compensation is performance-based.
If a business or the economy does well, executives get a fatter paycheck. But when business is bad, their paychecks reflect that.
Last year, the rising interest rates hurt earnings at many of Hawaii’s largest banks and real estate companies while volatile fuel prices impact airlines’ bottom lines.
Peter Ho, Bank of Hawaii Corp.’s CEO, saw his compensation drop by more than $1 million last year to about $6 million.
He was followed by Matson Inc. CEO Matthew Cox, who also took home about $6 million last year while Par Pacific Holding’s CEO William Pate earned $5.1 million.
First Hawaiian Inc.’s CEO Robert Harrison earned $4.6 million and Chris Benjamin of Alexander & Baldwin Inc. took home $4.2 million.
Scott Seu, of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc., earned $3.8 million last year while Peter Ingram of Hawaiian Holdings Inc. was paid $3 million.
Bankers Paul Yonamine, of Central Pacific Financial Corp., and Allen Kitagawa, of Territorial Bancorp Inc., earned $2.8 million and $1.6 million, respectively.
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