In this three-part series, Fortune examines whether the increasing CEOs' pay is justified, and how the trend affects the business world in general. Part one lists the highest-paid U.S. CEOs and points to six main elements of today's megapay machine. Part two features the opinions of several high-ranking CEOs and consultants, who exchanged their candor for anonymity granted by Fortune. The third part explains how the stock options received by CEOs work, and what is the cost to the corporations and their shareholders.
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