Top Paid Executives for 2018

The media boss, who joined Discovery Inc. (DISC.A) as president and CEO in 2007, received a $9 million bonus to stay on, in addition to $102 million in Discovery stock options, $14.8 million in stock awards, and his $3 million base salary, reported Variety. The highest paid CEO in 2018 was David M. Zaslav of entertainment network Discovery, Inc.

But in cases where the targets were met ahead of schedule and the options have vested, he’s received new grants. Munoz’s increase in pay came as United as a whole continued on a trajectory of improvement after a long rocky patch earlier this decade.


Many corporations have implausibly contended that constructing these ratios is too difficult. The SEC has given these claims far too much credence, providing firms tremendous leeway in how to construct the ratios. This SEC capitulation diminished the utility of these new median worker compensation measures for making comparisons across firms and will affect the utility of comparing them over time when additional years of data are available. Advocates, investors, and researchers alike have welcomed the disclosure of this information, because these disclosures offer previously unavailable insight into compensation inequality within firms. Historically, constructing a firm-specific CEO-to-worker pay ratio was impossible without the cooperation of the firm, although sector-specific estimates were possible . The new CEO-to-worker compensation ratios contained in proxies in 2018 and in 2019 shine a ray of sunlight onto the compensation of the typical worker.

The main factor, he insists, is that major companies are giving their top executives outlandish pay packages. His research shows that «supermanagers,» rather than «superstars,» account for up to seventy per cent of the top 0.1 per cent of the income distribution. (In 2010, you needed to earn at least $1.5 million to qualify for this élite group.) Rising income inequality is largely a corporate phenomenon. Abolish the practice of having a joint chief executive and chairman of the board of directors.

CEOs rake in 940% more than 40 years ago, while average workers earn 12% more

Among the 15 female CEOs for whom numbers were available, the median woman made $5.2 million versus the $5.7 million earned by the median male, a difference of about 9%. Like most other industries, biotech and pharma leadership skews heavily male. To brush aside criticism of the low wage you pay workers at the company by saying you pay more than the Federal Minimum Wage and that you provide opportunities for education is a dodge. So why must we, at a company that’s more profitable than it’s ever been, be paying anything so close to least the law allows at all???

What is Mark Zuckerberg salary?

CEOs who are a part of the $1 salary club

Mark Zuckerberg earned a salary of $770,000 excluding bonuses. However, he requested an annual wage of $1 in 2013 making him the lowest-paid Facebook employee. He's not the only one doing this.

Mayors and governors must be elected to office, whereas managers and administrators are typically appointed. Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of top executives with similar occupations.

Trends in CEO compensation growth

This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which receives compensation. Although it is generally difficult to justify CEO pay, at least Maroto’s is a reward for success.

  • He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
  • Observers differ as to how much of the rise and nature of this compensation is a natural result of competition for scarce business talent benefiting stockholder value, and how much is the work of manipulation and self-dealing by management unrelated to supply, demand, or reward for performance.
  • Torchiana retired amid concerns about his efforts to expand and reevaluate the direction of the organization and its flagship teaching hospitals.
  • This was a drop in ratio from 2000, when they averaged 525 times the average pay.
  • Strengthened management’s position or weaken the board’s position (larger boards, interlocking boards, boards with more directors appointed by the CEO, directors who serve on other boards, etc.).
  • Pointing out the incongruity of pay at the top and pay at the bottom provokes a reaction because it so violates of our innate sense of fairness it is impossible not to wince.»

Wyden’s question was directed at Richard Gonzalez, the CEO of AbbVie, which makes the world’s top-selling drug, Humira. AbbVie uses Humira sales as one factor in deciding the annual cash bonus for its top executives, which for Gonzalez totaled nearly $4 million last year. Most drugmaker CEOs received hefty pay raises in 2018, despite a year in which the share prices of many companies declined, according to a BioPharma Dive analysis of financial filings.

Trending Top 50 CEOs Earn More Than 21 National Economies

Chief executive officers of the largest firms in the U.S. earn far more today than they did in the mid-1990s and many times what they earned in the 1960s or late 1970s. They also earn far more than the typical worker, and their pay has grown much more rapidly. Importantly, rising CEO pay does not reflect rising value of skills, but rather CEOs’ use of their power to set their own pay. And this growing power at the top has been driving the growth of inequality in our country. The New York Times recently published its coverage of the annual Equilar 200 study, which analyzes the largest pay packages awarded to CEOs at U.S. public companies with more than $1 billion in revenue. This edition of the Equilar 200 marks the 12th consecutive year of a partnership with The New York Times to analyze data on pay awards for the top CEOs.

Manipulating optionsOne complaint of unjustified compensation is the tendency for companies to grant options to executives after the public release of bad news (i.e. after the stock price has been driven down) or before the release good news (i.e. before a rise in the stock price). From 1993 to 2003 executive pay increased sharply with the aggregate compensation to the top five executives of each of the S&P 1500 firms compensation doubling as a percentage of the aggregate earnings of those firms—from 5 per cent in 1993–95 to about 10 per cent in 2001–03. Calculations of the Economic Policy Institute show the ratio of average CEO compensation to average production worker compensation remained fairly stable from the mid-1960s to some time after 1973, at around 24 to 28. But by 1978, that ratio had started to grow reaching 35, and doubling to 70 in 1989. Stock market bubble busts meant drastic cuts in capital gains which were the source of most of the equity compensation that made up much or most of CEO pay. Members of the compensation committee may be independent but are often other well-paid executives.

The company had a blockbuster 2021, bringing in $53.8 billion in revenue, up 71% from 2020, and expanding significantly into key European and Chinese markets. Tesla delivered 936,000 vehicles in 2021, an 87% increase that puts the company at the pinnacle of the global EV industry, with a 14% market share. For the first time since 2014, the highest-paid CEO received more than $100 million in compensation awards. Two executives—Hock Tan of Broadcom and Frank Bisignano of First Data—were awarded $100 million or more in 2017. The board made up for most of the $3.3 million drop in the value of Bakish’s stock awards by giving him a $2.4 million boost in his bonus to $9.4 million — well above the $7 million target. Maybe that’s why the CEO is OK with NBCUniversal chief Burke getting a better package.

Their lavish salaries and generous awarding of stock options to key leaders enrage politicians on the left and threaten to become a political issue in the upcoming presidential election. And they appear to have been oblivious to women’s concerns as disclosures of sexual harassment and bullying at the companies they oversee piled up over the past year or so. The median pay for the 200 highest-paid CEOs at U.S. public companies with more than $1 billion in revenue rose 16.4% in the fiscal year 2018 to $18.6 million, according to the latestEquilar/New York Times study.

Abigail Disney, a granddaughter of one of the company’s co-founders who’s a shareholder but has never been involved in managing the firm, said in March that the disparity between Iger’s pay and the $46,127 given to the median Disney worker was completely out of whack. Like Musk, most executives on the index aren’t guaranteed to pocket all, or even most, of their packages. Stock awards, which make up the bulk of their pay, are often contingent on performance conditions, and payouts are reduced if those aren’t met. On the other hand, if the goals are exceeded, the windfall could be significantly bigger than initially estimated.

Torchiana retired amid concerns about his efforts to expand and reevaluate the direction of the organization and its flagship teaching hospitals. He was succeeded in June 2019 by Dr. Anne Klibanski, who had been chief academic officer of the company. While top executives line their own and investors’ pockets through share buybacks and cash dividends. The San Francisco-based drugmaker awarded $5 million in stock and $5.6 million in options to Robin. Pay for the CEOs running most Arizona companies is dwarfed by that earned by top executives at some of the nation’s biggest companies. Axon reported a whopping $246 million last year in compensation for CEO Patrick Smith — an unparalleled pay total for any Arizona executive, ever.

Kent Thiry at DaVita tops the list of states highest

While their base salaries remained the same and they didn’t receive any stock awards, their bonuses were five times higher and the stock options they received were six times higher. Last year chief execs got $278 for every $1 a typical worker earned, according to Mishel and Wolfe. Back in 1965, top corporate chiefs earned $20 for every dollar a typical worker earned, with that ratio rising to 58-to-1 by 1989. The gap widened dramatically in the following decades, they noted, due to a shift in the 1990s and 2000s to compensate CEOs mostly with stock options, restricted shares and other incentive-based pay fueled a spike in their earnings. CEOs and other top executives not only draw higher salaries than mainstream workers but also receive special option grants and/or stock awards that can add millions of dollars. At larger companies, CEOs also receive enhanced retirement benefits and sometimes bonuses and perks like company cars and private use of corporate aircraft. Factor out windfalls unrelated to the managers’ own efforts in calculating bonuses or granting stock options.

  • In 2011, 97 per cent of American companies paid their executives bonuses, including many whose performance was below the median level of their industry peers.
  • For example, in 2011 Alpha Natural Resources’ CEO failed to meet the compensation formula set by the board, in large part because of his overseeing the «biggest annual loss» in the company’s history.
  • In the 1990s and early 2000s, loans by companies to executives with low-interest rates and «forgiveness» often served as a form of compensation.
  • His pay wasn’t much above the median $194,000 earned by all workers at Accelerate Diagnostics, a medical-testing company.
  • In 2018, Discovery CEO David Zaslav earned $129 million in 2018 and Disney CEO Bob Iger earned $65 million, according to The Wall Street Journal.
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  • In total, Apotheker was entitled to about $34.7 million in cash and stock for less than one year’s work.

The tax data analyzed categorizes a household’s income according to the occupation and industry of the head of household. It is possible that a “secondary earner,” or spouse, has income as an executive or in finance. If the household is in the top 1.0% or top 0.1%, but the head of household is not an executive or in finance, then the spouse’s contribution to income growth will not be identified as being connected to executive pay or finance sector pay.

The differences can be striking, as illustrated by the pay totals disclosed by Axon Enterprise, the Scottsdale company formerly known as Taser International. Although it is generally difficult to justify CEO pay, at least Maroto’s is a reward for success.

As the fourth richest person in the world, much of Buffett’s wealth comes from his ownership of Berkshire Hathaway stock. Tilray’s Kennedy has experienced firsthand how fickle share prices can quickly create and cripple fortunes. His net worth swelled to more than $2 billion as the Top Paid Executives for 2018 company’s stock soared in September to an intraday record of $300, but it dwindled from there along with the stock, which ended the year at $70.54. The credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which receives compensation.

The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation. Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work.

Top Paid Executives for 2018

To narrow down the list of companies, Skift only included those with a market capitalization of more than $1 billion as of the week beginning July 22, 2019 . The long-serving CEO’s remuneration rose 5 percent over the previous year, totaling $5.6 million. Methodology for measuring CEO compensation and the ratio of CEO-to-worker compensation Archived November 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Take advantage of the provision requiring corporations to disclose the gap between their CEO and most typical workers, found in the Dodd–Frank law. A number of strategies that have been proposed to reform and/or limit executive compensation, particularly in the wake of the financial crisis of 2007–2008 and Troubled Asset Relief Program. A 2011 study by several Brock University professors of business found the market «may have overreacted» to the initial investigation announcements of backdating of options, and a «media bias» towards bad rather than good news. A study by University of Florida researchers found that highly paid CEOs improve company profitability as opposed to executives making less for similar jobs.


For comparison purposes, all such equity awards are valued at each company’s fiscal year-end, not as of the date they were granted. The index’s figures can therefore differ from those disclosed in filings—sometimes by a lot—depending on stock-price changes and dividends. Biotech companies with market capitalizations below $500 million as of May 20 were excluded from this analysis, reducing the biotech group to 180 companies. We did so to ensure we had a data set with companies in which median employee compensation would be based on a sufficient number of employees, and to create a more manageable data set. Smaller companies are also more likely to claim an exemption from reporting median employee compensation and CEO pay ratios. Burdensome government regulation, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley law, prevents publicly traded firms from competing with private firms such as hedge funds where the average compensation for the top 25 managers in 2004 was more than 20 times as much as the average CEO ($251 million). During the financial crisis, pressure arose to use more stock options than cash in pay for executives in the financial industry.

There were 38,824 executives in publicly held firms and 9,692 people in the top 0.1% of wage earners in 2007, according to the Capital IQ database . The large discrepancy between the pay of CEOs and other very-high-wage earners also casts doubt on the claim that CEOs are being paid these extraordinary amounts because of their special skills and the market for those skills. It is unlikely that the skills of CEOs of very large firms are so outsized and disconnected from the skills of others that they propel CEOs past most of their cohorts in the top one-tenth of 1%. For everyone else, the distribution of skills, as reflected in the overall wage distribution, tends to be much more continuous. Other pay includes change in pension value, above-market earnings on nonqualified deferred compensation benefits, perquisites, tax gross-ups and company payments to defined contribution plans.

Pay About this section

Most equity compensation, such as stock options, does not impose a direct cost on the corporation dispensing it. It does, however, cost company stockholders by increasing the number of shares outstanding and thus, diluting the value of their shares. While the use of options may reassure stockholders and the public that management’s pay is linked to increasing shareholder value—as well as earn an IRS tax deduction as incentive pay—critics charge options and other ways of tying managers’ pay to stock prices are fraught with peril.

Top Paid Executives for 2018

Being the CEO of a major corporation usually translates to getting a major paycheck. In the case of these chief executive officers, their 2018 salaries are all in the eight-figure range, according to data from the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations. The long-serving CEO’s remuneration rose 5 percent over the previous year, totaling $5.6 million. Much of it — $3.4 million — was share-related with only around $1 million coming in the form of salary. BioPharma Dive merged and de-duplicated lists of holdings included in two biotech stock indices, the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF and iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index, to create a group of 238 biotech companies. Scrutiny of executive pay is commonplace regardless of sector, but in the drug industry it comes amid criticism over pharmaceutical pricing. Compensation appeared broadly similar by median pay, although such comparison is hindered by a fewer number of data points for female CEO pay.

About the CEO pay series and this report

Munoz’s compensation was a mix of base pay and bonuses, though he did miss earning a bonus for one customer-service metric that was put in place by the company’s board following the Dr. Dao incident in 2017. Vertex earns much of its revenue from its three marketed cystic fibrosis drugs and includes a target for combined revenues in its annual bonus calculation. According to the company, though, such goals «were not set, achieved through or dependent upon, price increases.» Among the top 25 companies by value in BioPharma Dive’s analysis with marketed products in the U.S., only six included sales of an individual product in their annual bonus calculations. Compensation for a handful of executives whose companies are listed abroad was not readily available. Among the 182 companies that did report, the median compensation was about $5.7 million. Employees tended to also receive more in 2018, but not nearly as much as the gains recorded by those at the top.