As companies around the world struggle to mitigate the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, executive leadership is being put to the test. CEOs are facing intense scrutiny for how and when they are reopening their companies. While 2020 might see a freeze in CEO salary, 2019 was a good year for executive pay, as many chief executives were rewarded with huge compensation packages, often worth more than $20 million per year.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed information provided by public business information company MyLogIQ to determine the 50 highest paid CEOs of 2019. CEOs were ranked based on their total compensation, which typically includes salary, bonuses, stock options, and more. Median employee pay by company was also provided by MyLogIQ.
Many corporate leaders have to make difficult choices to help their companies through the pandemic — particularly those in vulnerable industries like oil and gas or entertainment. Many executives in these sectors have furloughed workers, scaled back operations, and reduced their own pay — like GE CEO Lawrence Culp who said he will forgo his salary for the rest of the year. These are the U.S. industries being devastated by the coronavirus.
The CEOs on this list tend to be concentrated in certain industries such as technology, energy, and health care. Even though employees in these fields tend to be relatively well compensated, all CEOs on this list make at least 100 times as much as the median pay of their employees. In some cases, they make more than 1,000 times as much. These are the CEOs that make 1,000 times more than their employees.