Larry Ellison, Highest Paid CEO of 2012

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CNN Money released its list of the 20 highest paid chief executive officers of 2012. It was refreshing to see some of the CEOs that have led their companies to long-term success made the list.

Mark Parker of Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) was fourth at $35.2 million. He has warded off stiff competition from several other athlete gear and shoe companies, the first among them Adidas, which owns Reebok. Third on the list is Bob Iger, CEO of Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS), who made $37.1 million. He has kept Disney among the top multimedia companies in the world and has balanced the success of its television network (ABC), studios and theme parks.

And first on the list is Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle Corp. (NASDAQ: ORCL). He hardly needs the money and could work for $1, based on his extraordinary wealth. Forbes rates Ellison as the third richest man on the Forbes 400, with a net worth of $43 billion. Ellison made more than any other U.S. public company CEO in 2012 — $96.2 million. Ellison has kept Oracle in competition with other industry giants, which include International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) and SAP A.G. (NYSE: SAP). And he has been more effective than most, making smart M&A decisions and integrating new companies into the parent.