Chairman Cox Unveils New Internet Tool With Instant Comparisons of Executive Pay
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C., Dec. 21, 2007 - Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox today launched the first-ever online tool that enables investors to easily and instantly compare what 500 of the largest American companies are paying their top executives. The new database highlights the power of interactive data to transform financial disclosure.
The Executive Compensation Reader - available today on the SEC's Web site at http://www.sec.gov/xbrl - builds on the Commission's new requirements that went into effect earlier this year to dramatically enhance clarity and completeness of executive compensation disclosure.
"Gone are the complicated data expeditions that forced investors to hunt through financial statements, footnotes, proxy statements, and other disclosure documents to figure out how much a company pays its top executives," Chairman Cox said. "Through its new rules and the power of interactive data, the SEC has transformed the landscape of compensation disclosure. The result is quicker and better analysis, and better-informed shareholders."
By tagging the executive compensation figures in XBRL, the computer language of interactive data, the SEC has created a new online tool to help investors more efficiently view Summary Compensation Tables and certain other data in the proxy statements of large companies. Investors can quickly glimpse the total annual pay as well as dollar amounts for salary, bonus, stock, options and company perks. They can instantly compare those executive compensation figures with other companies by sorting according to industry or size.
The SEC's new Web tool includes information in XBRL for 500 large companies that have filed proxy statements with the Commission. The new tool includes direct links to companies' proxy statements, including footnotes and the companies' explanation of their compensation decisions.
An investor can quickly compare executive compensation information with the new tool. For example, a user can view amounts included in the Stock Awards and Option Awards columns of the Summary Compensation Table in one or both methods of valuing options - based on the amount of the award expensed under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or based on the estimated potential value at grant date for the awards.
Selected comparisons can be depicted in both table and graph form, allowing shareholders to compare how executives are paid at companies according to industry, public market cap, or revenue. The data also can be downloaded into Microsoft Excel so that users can further devise their own programs and tables. The taxonomy is being provided for use by investors in accordance with the free public use standards of XBRL International, http://www.xbrl.org, a worldwide consortium dedicated to the promotion of computer tagged data. The tagged data is being provided for public use without restriction.
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