Whatever you think about the level of CEO pay (most Americans think they get too much), you might expect compensation levels to at least match corporate performance. But, according to new research, the exact opposite is true. The best-paid CEOs tend to run the worst-performing companies, and the worst-paid are at the top of the best-performing companies. MSCI, a corporate governance research group, analyzed the pay of 800 CEOs at 429 publicly traded U.S. companies over a 10-year period up to 2014. It included both base pay and stock option payouts. Then it looked at total shareholder returns over that time, including stock price growth and dividends.