Are you on this list? Chances are the following list of the highest paid CEOs does not include you, Don’t feel bad; I am not included either. In 2008, these ten individuals accounted for $2.2 billion in compensation in aggregate.
Whether or not CEOs deserve compensation at levels 17,000 times higher than the average worker in the United States or 50,000 times higher than the average worker across the globe is still up for discussion, particularly if compensation is not based on results. But for whatever reason, here are the amounts of total compensation for the ten highest paid CEOs of American companies.
- Stephen Schwarzman, Blackstone Group: $702,440,573
- Lawrence Ellison, Oracle Corp.: $556,976,600
- Ray Irani, Occidental Petroleum Corp.: $222,639,705
- John Hess, Hess Corp.: $159,566,940
- Michael Watford, Ultra Petroleum Corp.: $116,929,392
- Aubrey McClendon, Chesapeake Energy Corp.: $114,286,867
- Bob Simpson, XTO Energy Inc.: $103,485,972
- Mark Papa, EOG Resources, Inc.: $90,471,784
- Eugene Isenberg, Nabors Industries Ltd.: $79,333,079
- Michael Jeffries, Abercrombie & Fitch Co.: $71,795,744
According to the report from The Corporate Library, the organization that reported these figures, Schwarzman’s compensation amount includes the vestment of equity shares in the company he was granted when taking the company public. Only twenty-five percent of his total grant vested in 2007, and another twenty-five percent will vest each year until complete. That will keep him on top of the list for a few more years.
What would you do with $702 million — let’s say $350 million after tax? That would leave me with more than enough to start a foundation with an endowment and still have some left over to invest conservatively and provide myself a nice income for the rest of my life.
The top 10 highest paid CEOs are…, David Goldman, CNN Money, August 14, 2009.