Its a little strange to me that we live in a time when we have open knowledge of what CEOs are being paid. Can someone much older than me please tell me, was it always like this? Was this type of information reported in a major newspaper in the 50s? Something tells me no, it was not. At the same time, though, CEO pay has become so outrageously high over the last few decades that I can't feel too bad about it for too long. And besides, shareholders do have a right to know where the company's money is going.
So how are our highest executives doing this year? Pretty darn good, but you could have guessed that.
The median 2012 pay package for a CEO was $15.1 million, up a full 16% from the median in 2011, according to a report from the New York Times this weekend,
A chart provided by the newspaper shows the top 200 highest paid chief executive officers. Since we here at Vator cover technology news, we figure those are the CEOs you are probably most interested in.
A distinction about this list, which was compiled by Equilar: it shows the pay of only CEOs of public companies had revenue of over $1 billion through May 31 of this year. So the list is far from complete, but it does show the largest publically traded companies.
The highest paid CEO, by far, is Larry Ellison of Oracle. Ellison reported $96.2 million in 2012, an increase of 24% from his 2011 salary of $77.6 million. Over $90 million of that compensation was in the form of stock options.
Ellison salary, however, went up higher than his company did. In 2012 Oracle saw its income grow by 17% percent, and also saw its stock price drop by 22%.
Activision CEO Robert Kotick, the CEO who made it intp second place, did even worse.
His pay went up a jaw dropping 680%, from $8.3 million to $64.9 million. At the same time, Activision's income went up by a mere 6%, and shareholder returns went down by 12%.
Meanwhile, down in fifth place, is a CEO who seems to be doing an excellent job of getting her company back on its feet.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer earned $36.6 million in 2012, while her company's income jumped 276% and the company's stock rose 23%. And still she is earning around half of what Kotick is making.
Looking at those three people makes one thing clear: CEO pay is certainlly not tied to performance.
Other notable names on the list were Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff, with $22.1 million; outgoing Intel CEO Paul Otellini, with $18.9 million; and AOL's Tim Armstrong, with $12.1 million.
Rounding out the list of highest paid tech CEOs was Sprint's Dan Hesse, with a mere $11.1 million.
There were also a few notable names missing from some of the biggest companies as well, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Zynga, of course, has been spiraling over the last year or so, while Facebook lost over 30% of its IPO price, so its probably a good thing that both of them were not on this list. I seriously doubt if shareholders want to see their CEO getting a pay raise while they are taking a hit.
(I'm looking at you Meg Whitman! The H.P. CEO made out with $15.4 million last year, while the company's stock dropped 46% at the same time, the third largest drop of all 200 companies on the list. Ouch!)
(Image source: http://www.luxuo.com)