These CEOs Are Giving Up Their Salaries During the Coronavirus Crisis

Texas Roadhouse CEO forgoes salary during coronavirus crisis. Photo from

Texas Roadhouse. The mere name evokes exactly what the place is, full of friendly staff and big, thick ribeye steaks. And the butter and bread! Anyway. The coronavirus closures have kept us all cooped up a little too long.

The highway food chain is run by a solid CEO who is giving up his salary through the end of the year to keep the staff paid and fed while coronavirus and its lockdowns ravage the restaurant industry.

AUSTIN, Texas (CBS Austin) – The CEO of Texas Roadhouse restaurants is giving up his salary and bonus for the year in order to pay the chain’s front line employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

MarketWatch reports W. Kent Taylor will forgo his base salary and bonus from the pay period starting March 18 through Jan. 7, 2021.

He makes $1.3 million per year in total according to the linked story, so he can help quite a few staff by doing this. Texas Roadhouse, like many restaurants, is closed to dine-in but staying open by providing take-out.

Taylor is not alone is cutting his pay. Several other CEOs are making the same call.

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson said in a message to associates that he is giving up his salary for the remainder of the year, and cutting the pay of senior management in half. Also suffering from lost hotel revenue, Hyatt announced that its CEO, Mark Hoplamazian, and board chairman Tom Pritzker are forgoing their salaries through May. Lyft cofounders John Zimmer and Logan Green said they would donate their salaries to their company’s efforts to support drivers during this crisis, and Bahram Akradi, CEO of Life Time, which has 152 health clubs across North America, along with the company’s leadership team, have taken an indefinite pay freeze.

The Life Time gyms in my area closed a week or so ago. It’s still strange to see the 24-hour luxury gyms dark and empty.

Several airline CEOs are also taking pay cuts to their base salaries, which is smart as they seek federal stimulus funds.

President Donald Trump still provides the most consistent example in this area. He has donated his salary as president to various causes since his inauguration. He donated his latest paycheck to the Department of Health and Human Services to fight the coronavirus pandemic.