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2014 Equilar Top 200 Highest Paid CEO Rankings Summary

The New York Times recently released its coverage of the Equilar Top 200 Highest Paid CEO Rankings, an annual study of the highest paid CEOs at U.S. publicly-traded companies provided exclusively by Equilar.

Over the past eight years, Equilar has been the preferred data provider to The Times for executive compensation information. As part of this collaboration, Equilar provides data on compensation, professional history, and wealth events for executives of publicly traded companies. Additional information on executive connections, board service, and wealth data can be found in Equilar Atlas, an executive networking tool with profiles of more than 360,000 executives worldwide.

View the complete list of 200 top-paid CEOs

Top 5 Highest-Paid* CEOs of 2013
No. 1Charif Souki$141.9M
 Cheniere Energy 
No. 2Mario J. Gabelli$85.0M
 GAMCO Investors 
No. 3Lawrence J. Ellison$78.4M
No. 4Leslie Moonves$65.6M
No. 5W. Nicholas Howley$64.2M
 TransDigm Group 
*CEO pay includes base salary, stock and options awards, cash bonus, perks, and other incentives

Top-Paid CEOs of 2013

Cheniere Energy’s Charif Souki tops the list with $141.9 million, marking the first time he has been in the top five of this study and the only chief executive with pay over $100 million. Mario Gabelli of GAMCO Investors and Larry Ellison of Oracle, round out the top three on the list. The average pay for the 200 CEOs on the list was $20.7 million, an increase of 6% over a comparable list for 2012.

Key Findings – Behind the Scenes

Equilar’s executive data reveals several interesting findings:

  • Cheniere Energy CEO Charif Souki was the highest paid at $141.9 million, making him the only CEO earning over $100 million on this year’s list.
  • Four of the ten highest paid were in the technology sector.
  • Of the 200 CEOs, 11 are women. The highest paid was Martine Rothblatt with $38.2 million in total pay.
  • The highest-paid sector was the industrial goods industry with a median pay of $18.5 million among the 18 chief executives.
  • The highest-paid new CEO was Don Mattrick of Zynga, who received $57.8 million for taking over the top job at the online gaming company.
View the complete list of 200 top-paid CEOs


To measure the amounts that chief executives were paid last year, Equilar compiled and analyzed pay data from corporate filings.

The data set includes information for the 200 highest-paid chief executives at American public companies with a market capitalization of at least $1 billion that filed proxy statements by May 30 of this year.

For each executive, total compensation is calculated as the sum of base salary, discretionary and performance-based cash bonuses, the grant date value of stock and option awards, and other compensation. Other compensation typically includes benefits and perquisites. All data are taken from the summary compensation table provided in each company’s proxy statement.

Whenever grant-date values are not provided for option awards, Equilar calculated the value of stock option grants using the widely accepted Black-Scholes method and the company’s own option valuation assumptions.

Grant-date values represent the estimated value of new stock and option awards. Although companies disclose grant-date values for these awards, there is no guarantee that executives will actually realize these amounts. They may earn more or less, depending on stock price movements.

Equilar’s analysis reports equity awards in the fiscal year when they were granted. In some cases, especially in the financial sector, companies grant equity awards at the beginning of each fiscal year based on performance in the previous fiscal year. As such, the equity awards granted in a fiscal year should not necessarily be viewed as indicative of corporate performance in that same year.

About Equilar

Headquartered in Redwood City, Calif., Equilar is the leading provider of executive compensation data and governance tools for corporations, nonprofits, consulting firms, institutional investors and the media. As the trusted data provider to 70% of the Fortune 500, Equilar helps companies accurately benchmark and track executive and board compensation, Say on Pay results and compensation practices. In addition, Equilar offers the industry’s leading business networking solution for identifying pathways to executives and board members at companies of interest. Equilar’s research is cited regularly by Bloomberg, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other leading media outlets.