Bloomberg News reports that the boards defend the perk as a tool to guarantee security and reduce wear and tear on globe-trotting executives. The result: Non-business travel expenses rose for the third straight year in 2013, proxy filings show. Gone is the outrage at CEOs flying in high style that peaked during the recession.
'If your CEO is on vacation and you need him or her to come back quickly, you’d much rather have them be able to hop on a plane and fly back for a meeting as opposed for them waiting to catch the next commercial flight', said Aaron Boyd, director of governance research for Equilar, a company that compiles data on executive pay.
General Electric Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt racked up $343,121 in personal use of the corporate plane last year, and the tally for JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon doubled. Meanwhile billionaire Larry Ellison leased his own aircraft to the company he runs for $1.5m.
Spending on jet travel rose 61% last year among the 10 biggest Standard & Poor’s 500 Index firms that reported such data and 3.1% for the top 50, according to proxy filings.
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