Given the gap in income in the United States, CEO's salaries are getting more and more attention. I believe these salaries are astronomically high, especially when you consider all of the people who are underpaid that are below them. With these inequalities it's a wonder these CEO's aren't hunted down.
Given that there is a finite pool of resources from which to pay employees there is always going to be a direct trade off if one person is making more money than the other. These days the very top few percentage of people in the world are accumulating the greatest pools of wealth and it is due to things like inflated CEO compensation. Average people should be making more money as they tend to be doing the harder work.
CEO compensation is way over the top and someone needs to take the first step in bringing it down. I know companies say they have to pay for the best talent, but it has become ludicrous. How can you justify paying someone millions of dollars a year? This is the reason why workers are disenchanted - they work hard to make the company profitable and the CEO gets rewarded.
The market dictates profit. Profit dictates salary. Different levels of leadership and responsibility lead to different salaries. The job market also dictates salaries. If a CEO in a similar company that is making similar decisions is making more money, then the smart thing for any other CEO to do is negotiate to at least get competitive pay. This is Capitalism.
It's hard to say that CEO compensation is too high because they are the ones that lead the company. If they can run their company efficiently enough and still are able to pay themselves a large salary, then they should. However, the problem is when companies are broke and they make a lot of money.