The highest paid executives in America saw a significant decrease in total cash compensation during 2002, partly due to stagnant company revenues and a dramatic drop off in executive cash bonuses. The average decrease in Executive's total cash compensation was 22.6 percent according to the 2002 Executive Compensation Index figures released today by ERI Economic Research Institute and Career, The Wall Street Journal's executive career site.

The May 2003 Executive Compensation Index stands at 131.6 (1997=100) compared to 170.1 one year ago. This is the largest drop in total cash compensation since the inception of the index in 1997.

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