Want to make a C.E.O. nervous? Ask him what he’s doing about raises. “Hold on, I need to close my door,” one C.E.O. said when he answered a reporter’s recent call on the topic. As year’s end approaches, many firms are making decisions about raises and bonuses for their employees. Those are sensitive, high-stakes decisions anytime. With a recession howling at the door and everyone uncertain about what next year will look like, the stakes have gotten even higher.
SunTrust Banks may have taken federal bailout money, but it will not be shamed into cutting its CEO's pay as a result. Recent federal securities filings show that its chief executive, James M. Wells III, got a hefty pay hike last year.