Executive compensation at America's largest corporations increased dramatically over the past decade, according to a new survey of 700 executives just below the rank of chief executive officer. Salaries and bonuses averaged $289,000 in 1989, versus $116,000 in 1979, the study by Korn/Ferry International, an executive search firm, and the John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles.

``Because executive positions have become so much more challenging, there is also much more competition for talented managers who can function effectively,'' says Lester Korn, founder of Korn/Ferry.

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