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The Fortune 500 Workplaces With The Biggest Pay Gap Between CEO & Employee

By Anna Peel. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Fortune 500

The name ‘Fortune 500‘ is synonymous with business success. But what’s it really like to work at some of the world’s biggest and most famous companies?


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New research from careers board Lensa has analysed the Fortune 500 workplace, revealing CEO to employee salary ratios, employee reviews and remote working opportunities, to lift the lid on the best companies to work for, and those with the biggest pay gaps.

The full study is available here:

The Best Fortune 500 Companies To Work For

Rank Company Name Median Employee Salary CEO Salary CEO to employee salary ratio Overall workplace score
1 HP $92,900 $12,479,815 134.34 9.21
2 Chevron $107,000 $17,601,695 164.50 9.17
3 Merck $103,000 $19,799,788 192.23 9.12
4 Cisco Systems $110,000 $25,446,695 231.33 8.95
5 Intel $101,000 $22,389,500 221.68 8.60
6 Goldman Sachs Group $93,100 $17,500,000 187.97 8.25
7 Exelon $91,300 $14,405,049 157.78 7.94
8 American Express $87,800 $23,700,000 269.93 7.85
9 Microsoft $120,000 $49,858,280 415.49 7.85
10 Pfizer $83,700 $19,665,790 234.96 7.85

HP ranked first on the list of the best Fortune 500 companies to work for, with an attractive $92,900 median salary and employee reviews of 4.2. The tech company also offers remote working and has the lowest wage gap between CEO and employee – although CEO Enrique Lores still makes 134 times the average employee salary.

Energy corporation Chevron was in second place, with an average employee salary of $107,000 – the third highest overall, and an employee review score of 4.1.

German company Merck places third on the ranking, with an average salary of $103,000 for it’s 57,000 employees. Computing companies Cisco Systems and Intel placed fourth and fifth as the best companies to work for, with both companies offering a six figure salary, and Cisco Systems having the best employee review score of 4.4, on par with Microsoft.

The Fortune 500 Companies With The Biggest CEO To Employee Salary Gap

Rank Company Name Median Employee Salary CEO Salary CEO to employee salary ratio
1 General Electric $86,400 $72,728,233 841.76
2 Walt Disney $71,400 $45,899,796 642.85
3 Comcast $55,800 $32,563,133 583.57
4 Bank of America $59,200 $25,266,597 426.80
5 Microsoft $120,000 $49,858,280 415.49
6 Nike $80,100 $32,920,708 411.00
7 JP Morgan Chase $77,200 $31,642,709 409.88
8 Wells Fargo $52,600 $20,392,046 387.68
9 Morgan Stanley $80,100 $29,544,691 368.85
10 General Motors $65,700 $23,234,379 353.64
  • General Electric has the biggest CEO to employee salary gap, with CEO H. Lawrence Culp Jr earning 841 times the average employee wage.
  • Walt Disney was in second place – with CEO Bob Chapek making 642 times the average cast member salary. 
  • In third place was Comcast, with CEO Brian L. Roberts earning 583.57 times more than the median employee salary of $55,800. 

The Fortune 500 Companies With The Best & Worst Employee Reviews

Rank Company Review Score/5 Rank  Company Review score/5
1 Microsoft 4.4 1 Exxon Mobil 3.4
2 Cisco Systems 4.4 2 HCA Healthcare 3.5
3 Johnson & Johnson 4.2 3 Wells Fargo 3.6
4 Procter & Gamble 4.2 4 AT&T 3.7
5 American Express 4.2 5 Anthem 3.7

Computing and tech corporations Microsoft and Cisco Systems are tied with a score of 4.4 out of five on Glassdoor. Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil and HCA Healthcare are the worst reviewed Fortune 500 companies on the site.

The Fortune 500 Companies Not Currently Offering Remote Working

Whilst the majority of the Fortune 500 companies studied do offer remote working, unfortunately, six do not: Exxon Mobil, Phillips 66, Exelon, Bank of America, Valero Energy, and Nike.

Fortune 500

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