These Are The 10 Highest Paid CEOs In America

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Jul 05, 2024 - 11:25 PM

The median pay for S&P 500 CEOs soared to an all-time high of $15.7 million in 2023, as a strong stock market boosted executive compensation.

Some of the highest paid CEOs in America earned nine-figure pay packages, with the vast majority of CEO compensation tied to stock awards. Overall, executives in the index earned on average 196 times more than the median S&P 500 employee, up from 185 in 2022.

This graphic, via Visual Capitalist, shows the top 10 highest paid CEOs of S&P 500 companies, based on analysis from The Wall Street Journal and MyLogIQ.

The Highest-Earning S&P 500 CEOs in 2023

Here are the S&P 500 chief executives who received the highest compensation packages last year:

Total pay includes equity awards and cash pay.

Hock Tan, CEO of chipmaker Broadcom, tops the list, with an annual compensation of $161.8 million in 2023.

Like Nvidia, the company has benefited from surging demand for AI technologies. Broadcom supplies the networking chips used in data centers for big tech companies, including Microsoft. Between 2022 and 2023, Tan’s salary doubled, earning 510 times the median pay of employees.

Ranking in third is Stephen Schwarzman, who runs the biggest private equity firm in the world, Blackstone. The executive’s $119.8 million pay package was bolstered by a 83% rise in its share price last year. The firm is the world’s largest owner of commercial property, with approximately 12,500 real estate assets overall.

Meanwhile, Apple CEO Tim Cook received $63.2 million in 2023—a sharp decline from the $99.4 million earned in the prior year. This rare pay cut was the result of shareholder pushback and requests from Cook himself.

Overall, four of the top 10 highest paid CEOs in America are in the tech sector, with each experiencing double-digit share price gains over 2023.

CEO Pay Has Doubled Over the Last Decade

Below, we show the increasing magnitude of executive earnings since 2013:

Total pay includes equity awards and cash pay.

As we can see, the median total compensation of S&P 500 CEOs jumped over 8% between 2022 and 2023.

Going further, this figure has grown by twofold over the last 10 years as the U.S. stock market surged during a period of low interest rates. Overall, CEO pay is rising faster than median employee pay and this gap between CEOs and workers has continued to widen over many years. For perspective, the median pay of S&P 500 employees stood at $81,476 in 2023.

Often, CEO compensation is linked to the company’s financial performance, which is measured through share price movements and dividend payouts. In addition, the rise in CEO pay can be largely driven by stock awards granted to CEOs.

A separate analysis from Equilar found that on average, 70% of S&P 500 CEO compensation stemmed from stock awards, averaging a striking $9.4 million in 2023.