August 19, 2020


Communication Services Companies Cut Executive and Board Pay in Response to COVID-19




Melissa Burek
Founding Partner [email protected] 212-921-9354
Joanna Czyzewski
Principal [email protected] 646-486-9746
Joshua Hovden
[email protected] 212-921-9350


Compensation Advisory Partners (CAP) assessed human capital actions taken by companies in the Communication Services sector in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Key findings include:

  • The Communication Services sector and its Telecommunication Services and Media & Entertainment industries were hit significantly by the COVId-19 pandemic.
    • 54% of the Communication Services companies in the S&P Composite 1500 Index reported human capital actions in response to the pandemic. In contrast, 41 percent of companies in the S&P 1500 reported actions.
    • Of the industries in the Communication Services sector, Media & Entertainment was particularly hard hit, with 59 percent of companies reporting human capital actions. In the Telecommunication Services industry, 38 percent of companies took human capital actions in response to COVID-19.
  • Pay reductions for executives and board members are the most prevalent human capital actions in the Communication Services sector.
    • Median salary reductions were 50 percent for chief executive officers (CEOs), while median salary reductions for other executives were 20 percent.
    • For boards of directors, pay was cut by a median of 25 percent.
  • In addition to pay reductions for executives and boards, the most prevalent human capital actions in the Communication Services sector were furloughs, workforce reductions and suspended raises and/or bonuses.

The PDF of the report provides additional data for the Communication Services sector.

The human capital actions that CAP is tracking include pay cuts; changes to annual and long-term incentives; furloughs; workforce reductions; suspended 401K matches; enhanced health and welfare benefits; additional pay for frontline workers; pay continuity; and workforce expansions. CAP will continue to monitor corporate public announcements of COVID-19 actions.