The Legitimacy of CEO Pay: The Discourse of Telecom, the Media and the Public
This paper investigates how Telecom Corporation of New Zealand Ltd (Telecom) managed its legitimacy after announcing the Chief Executive Officer’s (CEO’s) pay in 2009 as well as the media’s and public’s reaction to Telecom’s announcement. The findings show that Telecom, the media and the public use the same remuneration logics to justify their positions. These remuneration logics are used to both justify and criticise Telecom’s CEO’s pay, although the media’s and public’s arguments are often unsophisticated and focus on the absolute level of CEO pay. Telecom is able to maintain its legitimacy through the use of well-structured, sophisticated arguments.