Special Report

These CEOs Make 1,000 Times More Than Their Employees

Source: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

13. James Quincey
> Company: The Coca-Cola Company
> CEO annual pay: $16.7 million (1,016 times the typical employee)
> Median annual employee pay: $16,440
> Annual corporate profit: $6.5 billion

James Quincey took the top job at Coca-Cola, the world’s largest non-alcoholic beverage company, on May 1, 2017, after serving as the company’s president and chief operating officer for two years. Quincey’s annual compensation of $16.7 million is more than 1,000 times the compensation the typical Coca-Cola employee earns a year.

Though Quincey sits at the top of the company, he is still accountable to shareholders. Since Quincey took over the reins, Coca-Cola’s share price has fluctuated considerably and is up by only about 3%.

Source: Stephen Brashear / Getty Images

12. Kevin R. Johnson
> Company: Starbucks Corp
> CEO annual pay: $13.4 million (1,049 times the typical employee)
> Median annual employee pay: $12,754
> Annual corporate profit: $4.5 billion

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson earns $13.4 million a year, while the median annual income among all of the coffee chain’s employees is just $12,754. In just 2 hours, Johnson earns as much as the typical Starbucks employee does in an entire year. With a 79% employee approval rating on review site Glassdoor, Johnson is generally well liked among those working under him.

Johnson took the top job at Starbucks in April 2017, and under his watch, corporate profits climbed 56.6% year-over-year.

Source: Courtesy of Kohl's

11. Michelle Gass
> Company: Kohl’s Corporation
> CEO annual pay: $12.3 million (1,115 times the typical employee)
> Median annual employee pay: $11,070
> Annual corporate profit: $801 million

Michelle Gass is one of two female CEOs on this list. Gass’s total compensation in fiscal 2018 of $12.3 million included $1.4 million in salary, with stocks and incentives making up the remainder. Relatively new to the job, Gass was named CEO in March 2018 after working as the company’s chief marketing officer for about three years.

Brick and mortar retailers like Kohl’s are facing increasing competition from online retailers. To adapt to the changing consumer landscape, Gass is converting some of Kohl’s retail space into gyms in a new partnership with Planet Fitness.

Source: Courtesy of Yum! Brands

10. Greg Creed
> Company: Yum! Brands, Inc.
> CEO annual pay: $14.0 million (1,181 times the typical employee)
> Median annual employee pay: $11,865
> Annual corporate profit: $1.5 billion

Fast food restaurants offer some of the lowest-paying jobs in the country. The typical employee at Yum! Brands — the parent company of such fast food chains as KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell — earns just $11,865 a year. Yum! CEO Greg Creed earns as much in less than 2 hours.

In January 2019, Creed was named Restaurant Leader of the Year, a prestigious industry honor bestowed by the editors of Restaurant Business magazine. Over the course of Creed’s more than four-year tenure, the brands Yum! manages have managed to expand their retail footprint considerably, bucking the broader industry trend.

Source: Miosotis Jade / Wikimedia Commons

9. Barbara Rentler
> Company: Ross Stores, Inc.
> CEO annual pay: $12.3 million (1,222 times the typical employee)
> Median annual employee pay: $10,027
> Annual corporate profit: $1.6 billion

Barbara Rentler’s compensation in 2018 included $1.3 million in salary and much more in stocks and incentives for a total of $12.3 million — 1,222 times as much as the annual pay of a typical employee at the department store chain. Rentler began working at Ross Stores, Inc. in 1986 as a merchandiser. She worked her way up and was appointed CEO in June 2014. Her net worth is an estimated $69.9 million.