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Highest-Paid CFOs in the S&P 500

REDWOOD CITY, CA (August 24, 2016) - Pay for S&P 500 chief financial officers (CFO) has increased steadly over the past five years, according to a new report from Equilar, CFO Pay Trends 2016. Overall, median CFO reported total compensation in the S&P 500 increased 18.7% from $2.9 million in 2011 to $3.4 million in 2015.

The CFO role has continued to increase in prominence and responsibility during that time frame, and indeed, the 15 highest-paid CFOs in the S&P 500 outpaced the median CEO for the S&P 500, who earned $10.4 million in 2015. The top three highest-paid CFOs at CBS, Apple and Goldman Sachs each were awarded more than $20 million for the complete fiscal year in 2015.

Top 15 Highest-Paid S&P 500 CFOs, 2015*

company / executive Total Compensation (MM)
CBS Corp.
Joseph R. Ianniello
Apple, Inc.
Luca Maestri
Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
Harvey M. Schwartz
Facebook, Inc.
David M. Wehner
Yahoo! Inc.
Ken Goldman
Aon plc
Christa Davies
Medtronic plc
Gary L. Ellis
International Business Machines Corp.
Martin J. Schroeter
Public Storage
John Reyes
United Technologies Corp.
Akhil Johri
UnitedHealth Group Inc.
David S. Wichmann
General Electric Co.
Jeff Bornstein
Exxon Mobil Corp.
Andrew P. Swiger
Time Warner, Inc.
Howard M. Averill
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Marianne Lake
* Absent from this list are Alphabet’s CFOs that served during 2015, Patrick Pichette and Ruth Porat, both of whom were awarded more than any of these executives, but did not serve a complete year in their position and were therefore excluded from the Equilar study. Other executives who did not serve the complete fiscal year as CFO were also excluded.

“The CFO role has evolved alongside overall economic growth, political dynamics and corporate governance reform,” said Matthew Goforth, research and content specialist at Equilar and managing editor for the report. “These financial executives are paramount to every company’s success, acting as financial advisors and risk assessment specialists, and thus we have see pay increase consistently over the past five years.”

Among the top 15 highest-paid CFOs, two were females. While the prevalence of female CFOs has increased over the years, women still represent just 12.9% of S&P 500 at the highest finance position.

During that time frame, median pay for male CFOs has increased consistently, while it dipped for females in 2015 after a single year of parity between males and females. In 2014, female CFOs in the S&P 500 were awarded slightly more than their male counterparts at the median ($3,339,134 vs. 3,288,611), but again in 2015 the median pay for male CFOs was higher than for females—$3,432,117 for men vs. $3,134,138 for women.

For a complete look at CFO pay trends for the S&P 500 at large, learn more here about Equilar’s latest report, CFO Pay Trends 2016. Equilar subscribers may download the report immediately, and non-subscribers may request a complimentary copy.

About CFO Pay Trends 2016

Equilar’s CFO Pay Trends 2016 examines the compensation of CFOs at current S&P 500 companies, and tracks this data for those companies over the last five fiscal years. Only CFOs who served for their company’s entire fiscal year were included in the applicable study fiscal year in order to preclude pro-rating or projecting elements of compensation for the sake of comparison.

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.


Amit Batish
Director of Content & Marketing Communications

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