The 20 Highest Paid CEOs In The US

By on May 29, 2014 in ArticlesEntertainment

It's good to be the CEO of a company. These men (seriously, where are the female CEOs?) bring home some serious cheddar for helming the U.S.'s largest companies. Not only do that make sky high salaries that afford them lives of incredible luxury, but their salaries are increasing at a pretty good clip, year-to year.

Total annual compensation of the more than 300 top CEOs in the U.S. increased by 5.5% to an average of $11.4 million from 2012 to 2013. The top 10% of earners made a staggering 23% of total compensation of the 300 CEOS on the list. The bottom 30% accounted for 13% of the total. The three highest-paid CEOs— Oracle's Larry Ellison, CBS's Les Moonves and Liberty Global's Michael Fries — made a total of $188 million, more than the combined pay of the 50 CEOs at the bottom of the same list.

But, surely the top paid CEOs bring home many many millions of dollars each year because their companies are top performers… right? Yeah, not so much. None of the CEOs in the top 10 biggest companies were even in the top 10% for performance. For instance, Larry Ellison of Oracle is the highest paid CEO in America, but performance wise, Oracle is only listed at number 152.

It should be noted that total compensation on the list below includes salary, stock, annual incentives, and performance awards. Most of the top 10 highest paid CEOs made the bulk of their money from stock options.

Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison Net Worth and Salary / Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Here are the Top 20 Highest Paid CEOs:

1. Larry Ellison, Oracle

2013 Compensation: $76.9M

Change Since 2012: -18.7%

2. Les Moonves, CBS

2013 Compensation: $65.4M

Change Since 2012: 11.1%

3. Michael Fries, Liberty Global

2013 Compensation: $45.4M

Change Since 2012: 248.2%

4. Richard Adkerson, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold

2013 Compensation: $38.9M

Change Since 2012: 125.1%

5. Philippe Dauman, Viacom

2013 Compensation: $36.8M

Change Since 2012: 11.0%

6. Robert Iger, Disney

2013 Compensation: $33.4M

Change Since 2012: -8.1%

7. Jeffrey Bewkes, Time Warner

2013 Compensation: $32.4M

Change Since 2012: 26.9%

8. Mark Bertolini, Aetna

2013 Compensation: $31.2M

Change Since 2012: 174.9%

9. Fabrizio Freda, Estee Lauder

2013 Compensation: $30.9M

Change Since 2012: 140.1%

10. Jeffrey R. Immelt, General Electric

2013 Compensation: $28.2M

Change Since 2012: 262.1%

11. Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs

2013 Compensation: $28.0M

Change Since 2012: 16.7%

12. Rex Tillerson, ExxonMobil

2013 Compensation: $27.6M

Change Since 2012: 3.2%

13. Rupert Murdoch, 21st Century Fox

2013 Compensation: $25.8M

Change Since 2012: 16.9%

14. David Farr, Emerson Electric

2013 Compensation: $24.9M

Change Since 2012: 284.5%

15. Kenneth Chenault, American Express

2013 Compensation: $24.4M

Change Since 2012: 10.9%

16. Laurence Fink, BlackRock

2013 Compensation: $24.0M

Change Since 2012: 11.6%

17. Charles Scharf, Visa

2013 Compensation: $23.4M

Change Since 2012: N/A

18. Brian Roberts, Comcast

2013 Compensation: $22.6M

Change Since 2012: 5.7%

19. Alan Mullaly, Ford Motor

2013 Compensation: $22.5M

Change Since 2012: 11.2%

20. Trevor Fetter, Tenet Healthcare

2013 Compensation: $22.4M

Change Since 2012: 146.4%

Articles Written by Amy Lamare
Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based writer covering business, technology, entertainment, philanthropy, and pop culture. She spent 8 1/2 years covering the entertainment industry for www.hsx.com. She attended the University of Southern California where she majored in Creative Writing. An avid long distance runner, weekends she can be found running the streets of Los Angeles training for 1/2 and full marathons. Follow her on Facebook.
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