A recent study by the Economic Policy Institute revealed that CEOs of the top 350 publicly traded companies earned in 2021 an average of $27.8 million in realized annual income, a figure which includes stock options. This staggering figure is nearly 400 times higher than the earnings of a typical worker, marking a significant increase from the 366-to-1 ratio observed in 2020 and a massive jump from the 59-to-1 ratio seen in 1989.
To identify the highest-paid CEOs, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) list of Highest-Paid CEOs in the Russell 3000 index. Only CEOs with annual compensation of more than $150 million are listed. Company description and 12-months trailing revenue came from Yahoo! Finance. (Also read: the youngest companies in the Fortune 500.)
Among these executives, compensation ranged from $155.7 million for Travis VanderZanden of Bird Global, an e-scooter and e-bike rental company, to an astonishing $835 million awarded to Jeff Green, the head of digital advertising giant The Trade Desk.
Notably, this list includes leaders of well-known corporations such as Amazon.com’s Andrew Jassy, whose 2021 earnings amounted to $212.7 million. To put this in perspective, Jassy’s income equated to approximately $102,260 per working hour for a 40-hour workweek. Similarly, David Zaslav, the chief of Warner Bros. Discovery, received an annual compensation of nearly a quarter of a billion dollars.
Interestingly, there seems to be no clear correlation between CEO salaries and company revenue, a crucial metric in the eyes of both shareholders and analysts.
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