Chief executive officers are the highest-ranking — and often highest-profile — employees of any company or organization. They are also usually the highest paid. There are even some major companies where CEOs make over 1,000 times what their employees make.
Whether or not such a pay gap is justified is a matter of debate. The pressures that come with the top job at any major American company, however, are undeniable. CEOs of publicly traded companies are accountable to customers, regulators, shareholders, board members, and their own employees — in both good times and bad.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed CEO compensation packages at the largest, publicly traded American companies by revenue. With only a few exceptions, the largest companies report CEO compensation packages of at least seven figures. The vast majority of these CEOs earn eight figures annually. Some of these CEOs are the richest person in their state and even among the richest in the country.
To rank the highest paid CEOs at America’s largest companies, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed total CEO compensation for the 150 largest public companies with the highest reported revenue for the year ended Dec. 31, 2017, unless otherwise noted, as reported by Forbes. All compensation figures and employee counts are as of the last published proxy statement or last published 10-K statement as of the time this data was collected. At some companies, the CEO listed in the most recent proxy no longer holds the top job and is listed as retired. Because software company Oracle has two CEOs, 100 CEOs are included on this list. We included companies that have been merged, acquired, or have gone private since the reported compensation period.
Correction: A previous version of this piece incorrectly attributed former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi’s compensation to current CEO Ramon Laguarta. The profile has been changed to list the former CEO. The piece also incorrectly listed United Continental Holdings’ CEO Oscar Munoz’s compensation at $10.2 million, it has been corrected to $10.5 million. Finally, a data error improperly included INTL FCStone Inc CEO Sean M. O’Connor on this list. He has been removed.