Company getting $1M from Maine pays median global employee $11,035

Written on April 14, 2018

The company due to get $1 million from a competitive round of grants from a Maine economic development fund disclosed this week that its Arizona-based CEO gets paid 972 times the international firm’s median employee.

ON Semiconductor plans to use the grant for a $23 million upgrade to its South Portland plant. On Wednesday, the company announced it pays its median employee $11,035, compared with CEO Keith Jackson’s pay of $10.7 million.

ON attributed the low median pay to cost-of-living differences between the United States and countries where it has workers, including the Philippines, “in which the cost of living and wages are substantially lower than in the United States.” But the company said its pay rates “are set to be market-competitive in the country in which the jobs are performed.”

The company has about 33,500 employees, 4,724 of which are based in North America. ON acquired Fairchild Semiconductor in 2016, which had owned the South Portland plant.

The company and other publicly traded firms are disclosing for the first time the median pay of their employees, compared with CEO pay, as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, signed in the wake of the Great Recession.

The company’s Maine grant will come from the Maine Technology Institute, a fund the Legislature created in 1999 to help finance development of new technologies in the state.

MTI announced ON’s grant on Friday, paid for by proceeds of a $45 million bond Maine voters approved in November. Demand for those grants was nearly ten times greater than the program’s capacity, with companies seeking about $400 million, according to MTI.

MTI announced $10.9 million in grants on Friday, completing awards from the most recent bond. The organization said seven projects approved for the grant will “lead to 1,927 new jobs and a collective $542.6 million in economic output” for Maine.

Other companies based in Maine or with Maine ties are also disclosing the ratios of CEO pay to their median employees. Maine’s largest publicly traded firm, Idexx, disclosed a pay ratio of 121 to 1 earlier in April and Unum, with headquarters in Portland and Chattanooga, Tennessee, reported a ratio of 155 to 1 (median $62,650) earlier this week.

ON said in its report that due to different methods allowed for calculating those ratios and a company’s median pay, they “are not intended to facilitate a company-to-company comparison.”