Corporate CEOs are back to using company jets for personal travel after the practice dipped briefly following the financial crisis, Bloomberg reports.
“Non-business travel expenses” increased for the third straight year, and the 10 largest S&P; 500 companies that Bloomberg scrutinized spent 61 percent more last year on personal travel using corporate jets than they did in 2012. The costs rose 3.1 percent for the 50 largest companies that disclosed the relevant figures.
General Electric spent over $343,000 flying CEO Jeffrey Immelt around for personal travel on the company plane last year. Immelt made $19.7 million in 2013, according to Executive Paywatch.
Casino mogul Steve Wynn earned $19.6 million, and billed Wynn Resorts Ltd. about $927,000 in personal travel on the corporate jet. (The Wynn Resorts board did, however, force Wynn to start paying the $525,000 annual rent price for his Las Vegas house out of his own pocket last year.)
Corporations shoulder their top employees’ vacation expenses in part to make sure CEOs can hurry home if something urgent arises during their leisure time. Companies like Halliburton and Boeing even require CEOs to use corporate planes for such travel. Immelt and Wynn are also required to fly on company planes. Regardless of the business rationale, the practice effectively increases executive pay and in many cases even reduces tax liability for CEOs.