By John S. McClenahen With median total compensation of $1.76 million in 2001, CEOs in manufacturing rank No. 8 among 13 major industries studied by the Conference Board, New York. Compensation was highest for CEOs in financial services (a median of $3.754 million) and lowest for CEOs of wholesale trade companies (a median of $1.325 million). In addition to CEOs of financial-services firms, chief executives in computer services, construction, communications, insurance, energy, and utility companies had higher median total compensation than did manufacturing CEOs. Generally, 2001's increases in CEO compensation were "very modest," says the Conference Board. Part of the reason was the decline in stock prices in 2001. "Share value has been regarded as the primary indicator of company performance, with the result that stock compensation has become a major component of executive pay," explains Charles Peck, a compensation specialist at the business-research group. "With the general decline in the stock market, stock-related compensation has become less lucrative." The Conference Board surveyed 1,920 companies for its most recent report on executive compensation.