Public companies must start providing a clearer picture of their top executives' total compensation in accordance with new Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules released in late July.
The long-awaited SEC ruling requires public firms to explain more clearly to shareholders how much their five most-senior execs earn from salary, stock options and other benefits. For years, public firms have been criticized for hiding top execs' compensation by chopping it up in pieces and spreading it throughout annual statements.
Companies must also begin publishing details about the timing of stock-option grants. That aims to quiet the uproar over recent revelations that some companies backdate stock options to help guarantee profits for executives.
For details on the SEC rules, go to www.sec.gov/news/press.shtml and click on the July 26 release.