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The 100 Highest-Paid CEOs: Pay Trends Before the COVID-19 Pandemic


REDWOOD CITY, CA (April 23, 2020)—The 2020 edition of the Equilar 100 study, which identifies 2019 CEO pay at the largest 100 U.S. companies to file proxy statements before March 31, revealed that median total CEO compensation reached $15.7 million in fiscal year 2019. At the median, this is a 0.6% increase from 2018. Intel CEO Robert Swan topped the highest-paid study with a pay package of nearly $67 million in 2019.

Of course, the pay packages revealed in this study are a snapshot of 2019 CEO compensation, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Several companies have adjusted CEO pay amid the pandemic and it’s expected more companies will follow suit. Among companies in the study, eight have adjusted CEO salaries in some form.

The previous year’s study revealed that total CEO compensation decreased at the median from $15.7 million in 2017 to $15.6 million in 2018. While many of the companies in the Equilar 100 are consistent from year to year, due to changes in revenue and floating filing dates the list is not the same every year.

The median CEO Pay Ratio for the Equilar 100 was 252:1 in 2019. This represents a decrease from 2018 when the median CEO Pay Ratio was 254:1. Several factors could be the result of a lower ratio, including an increase in median employee pay. As was the case over the last two years, Warren Buffett recorded the lowest CEO Pay Ratio at 6:1. Buffet was awarded an annual compensation of $374,773 in 2019.

Once again, women represent less than 10% of Equilar 100 CEOs. Similar to the previous year’s study, just nine women hold the title of chief executive at Equilar 100 companies. Last year’s study also saw three of the nine women on the top 10 list; however, this year there were no women on that list.


About the Report

The Equilar 100 includes the largest U.S.-listed companies by revenue to file annual proxy statements before April 1 to provide an early look at CEO pay trends for 2019. While many of the companies in the Equilar 100 are consistent from year to year, due to changes in revenue and floating filing dates the list is not the same every year.

About Equilar

Equilar is the leading provider of Board Intelligence Solutions. Its data-driven platforms, BoardEdge and Insight, provide tools for board recruiting, business development, executive compensation and shareholder engagement. Companies of all sizes, including 70% of the Fortune 500 and institutional investors representing over $20 trillion in assets, rely on Equilar for their most important boardroom decisions. Equilar also hosts industry-leading board education symposiums, conducts comprehensive custom research services and publishes award-winning thought leadership. Founded in 2000, Equilar is cited regularly by Associated Press, Bloomberg, CNBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other leading media outlets. Visit www.equilar.com to learn more.

For more information, contact:

Amit Batish
Manager, Content & Communications
Equilar, Inc.
abatish@equilar.com
650-241-6697

Media Inquiries

(650) 241-6655

press@equilar.com



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