August 06, 2020


Industrials 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 Industrials sector in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Key findings include:

  • The Industrials sector and its Capital Goods, Commercial and Professional Services, and Transportation industries were hit hard by COVID-19, as reflected by the percentage of companies taking actions in response to the pandemic.
    • Half of the Industrials companies in the S&P Composite 1500 Index reported human capital actions in response to the pandemic. In contrast, 39 percent of companies in the S&P 1500 reported actions.
    • Of the industries in the Industrials sector, Transportation was particularly hard hit, with 69 percent of companies reporting human capital actions. In the Commercial and Professional Services industry, 51 percent of companies took human capital actions in response to COVID-19, while 45 percent of companies in the Capital Goods sector took actions.
  • Pay reductions for executives and board members are the most prevalent human capital actions in the Industrials sector.
    • Median salary reductions were 38 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 30 percent. The range of director pay cuts is similar to the range of CEO salary cuts.
  • In addition to pay reductions for executives and boards, the most prevalent human capital actions in the Industrials sector were furloughs, pay reductions for employees, and workforce reductions.

The PDF of the report provides additional data for the Industrials 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.