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The best and worst bosses

Whine, whine, whine. Sure, lots of chief executives are vastly overpaid. But lots produce nice returns for shareholders. We tell you which is which.
/ Source: Forbes

Next to the weather, everyone likes to complain about the huge sums America's chief executive officers are raking in. The complainers have a point, of course. But we don't begrudge big pay packages — provided the chief is delivering returns to shareholders.

In our annual performance-versus-pay scorecard, we identify bosses whose companies have beaten the market and their peers — and those who have failed to produce.

Leading our list is John Bucksbaum of General Growth Properties, a real estate investment trust. Over the past six years he's been paid a modest $624,000 a year, while delivering a 37 percent annual return to shareholders. Give this guy a raise.

At the bottom is Richard A. Manoogian, chief executive of Masco, manufacturer of housing products like faucets, gutters and cabinets. While his stock has beaten the S&P 500 over six years, it stinks in comparison with Masco's sector (which includes a number of big home builders). The boss has been collecting a paycheck averaging $9 million a year.

For our rankings we screened our database for executives with at least six years as chief executive and a six-year pay history.

We found 189 bosses who fit the bill, and we rank them four ways. The first two, and most heavily weighted, are the annualized stock performance during the leader's tenure and performance relative to the S&P 500 during that time. The third is the company's stock performance (including dividends) relative to that of its industry peers over six years. The last factor is total compensation (including cashed-in options) over the past six years.

Performance matters more than pay. With miserable enough results a boss can be rated a clunker even with a tiny paycheck. He should be paying the shareholders.