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Equilar 200 Highest-Paid CEO Rankings

REDWOOD CITY, CA (June 1, 2016) — The annual Equilar 200 study with The New York Times published earlier this week, analyzing the highest-paid CEOs at U.S. public companies. The 2016 Equilar 200 marks the 10th consecutive year of a partnership with The New York Times to deliver data on top-paid executives.

Median pay for Equilar 200 CEOs was $16.6 million in fiscal year 2015, and the CEOs on this list saw a 5% pay increase at the median. These figures were lower than the CEOs who were included on last year’s Equilar 200 list, who earned $17.6 million at the median.

“Typically, the highest pay packages are awarded in specific circumstances like new hires, special awards from IPOs, or large stock or option grants in connection with a new long-term incentive plan,” said Dan Marcec, Equilar’s director of content. “While some of the highest-paid executives indeed fit into these circumstances in 2015, there were fewer outstanding awards such as this than we’ve seen in some previous years of the study, leading to lower overall median figures for the Equilar 200 list.”

Average pay for the Equilar 200 Highest-Paid CEOs in 2015 was $19.3 million, compared to $22.6 million for the 200 CEOs on the list in 2014.

View the list

Key Takeaways

  • No CEO in the Equilar 200 earned more than $100 million. For the first time since 2013, the highest-paid CEO in the Equilar 200 was awarded a pay package of less than $100 million.

  • Though few in number, the top female CEOs outpace the field. Fifteen CEOs on the Equilar 200 list are female, and they earned $18.6 million at the median, far outpacing the median pay overall. Safra Catz of Oracle was the highest-paid female with $53.2 million—tied for fourth overall with her colleague Mark Hurd. Catz is the highest-ranking female since the inception of the Equilar 200. Marissa Mayer at Yahoo received the 11th highest pay package of any CEO in 2015 at $36.0 million. Mayer was the highest-paid female last year, coming in 14th on the list.

  • Tech chiefs lead the pack. Technology CEOs in the Equilar 200 earned more than any other sector, awarded $18.3 million at the median. The basic materials sector—which includes energy and oil and gas companies—was the lowest-paid industry in the Equilar 200 at a median $15.0 million.

About the Equilar 200

Each year, Equilar partners with The New York Times to deliver a rankings list of the highest-paid public company CEOs. The Equilar 200 includes U.S.-based or listed companies with more than $1 billion in revenue that filed proxy statements by April 30, 2016. Total compensation includes information disclosed in company proxy statements including salary, bonus, stock and options valued at grant date, and other compensation (including benefits and perks).

About Equilar

Equilar is the #1 provider of executive data, collecting information on more than 140,000 executives and board members from thousands of public companies. Our cloud-based platforms organize executive data into easily digestible formats, delivering compensation benchmarking, corporate governance and shareholder engagement tools with accuracy and integrity. These platforms bring together companies, shareholders and advisors to inform better business decisions and drive exceptional results. Founded in 2000, Equilar is the trusted data provider for 70% of the Fortune 500, and is cited regularly by The New York Times, Bloomberg, Forbes, Associated Press, CNN Money, CNBC, The Wall Street Journal and other leading media outlets.


Dan Marcec
Director of Content & Marketing Communications

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(650) 241-6655

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