CEOs are the highest ranking corporate executives — and their compensation often reflects as much. Across the 350 largest companies in the United States, the average CEO made $14.5 million in 2019. All things being equal, it would take the typical American about 400 years to earn that amount.
Not all CEOs are compensated equally however. At some of America’s largest companies, chief executives make well more than double the amount the typical CEO earns — and hundreds of times more than most of the people who work for them.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed available financial disclosures filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission by all publicly traded companies of the 100 largest U.S. companies by revenue to identify America’s highest paid CEOs. All executives on this list are ranked by their total compensation in fiscal 2019, while company revenue is listed for the most recent fiscal year. In addition to company revenue and CEO compensation, the ratio of CEO pay to the typical employee came from financial disclosures filed with the SEC. We only considered CEOs who are currently with their company. Most CEOs on this list head companies in the tech or financial services sectors.
The vast majority of working Americans are paid primarily through a wage or salary. For CEOs of major corporations, this is not the case. Typically, multi-million dollar executive compensation packages consist largely of stock options and incentives designed to reward performance. For the chief executives on this list, base salary often does not exceed $1.5 million and accounts for a relatively small share of their overall pay.
Whether or not the corporate leaders on this list are overpaid is a matter of debate. What is not, however, is that these executives are ultimately responsible for the success or failure of their business, effectively affecting the interests of thousands of employees and shareholders. Here is a look at the companies with the best and worst reputations.