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Equilar Publishes Annual CEO Pay Study with The New York Times

REDWOOD CITY, CA (May 25, 2017) — The annual Equilar 200 study with The New York Times published today, analyzing the CEOs at U.S. public companies with the largest pay packages in fiscal year 2016. This marks the 11th consecutive year of a partnership with The New York Times to deliver data on top-paid executives.

Median pay for Equilar 200 CEOs was $16.9 million in fiscal year 2016, and those executives included on this list saw a median 9% pay increase over what they earned the previous year.

There are multiple angles from which CEO compensation can be analyzed for comparison. For example, the list of 200 CEOs is different each year, so when comparing to the previous year’s list there are distinct differences in how pay changes from year to year. The CEOs who graced Equilar 200 list this year saw pay packages that were slightly higher than last year’s Equilar 200 list, which saw a median pay package of $16.6 million, 2% lower than this year’s median.

View the complete Equilar 200 list here.

Key Trends

Pay packages on the whole were higher than ever before. The 200th CEO on this year’s list was awarded more than $13 million for the first time in the history of the Equilar 200 study. In the past, the low-end cut off has typically been approximately $12 million. On the 2015 list, for example, the 200th CEO was awarded $12.2 million, and 18 CEOs who made the list last year received pay packages less than $13 million.

Though few in number, top female CEOs outpace the field. The 16 female CEOs in the Equilar 200 outpaced males with an average pay package of $20.9 million vs. $19.5 million. There was one more female overall than appeared on the previous year’s list.

The largest cash award goes to… Les Moonves of CBS received a $32 million cash bonus in 2016. Jeff Immelt of GE earned the largest salary in the study at $3.8 million.

About the Equilar 200

Each year, Equilar partners with The New York Times to deliver a rankings list of the largest pay packages among public company CEOs. The Equilar 200 includes companies with more than $1 billion in revenue that filed proxy statements to the SEC by May 1, 2017. Total compensation includes information included in the summary compensation table of company proxy statements including salary, cash bonus, stock and options valued at grant date, and other compensation (including benefits and perks).

About Equilar

Equilar is the leading provider of board intelligence solutions. Companies of all sizes rely on Equilar for their most important boardroom decisions, including 70% of the Fortune 500 and institutional investors representing over $13 trillion in assets. Equilar offers data-driven solutions for board recruiting, executive compensation and shareholder engagement that bring together business leaders, institutional investors and advisors to drive exceptional results while ensuring sound corporate governance. The Equilar suite of solutions includes industry-leading board education symposiums, comprehensive custom research services and 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. Learn more at


Dan Marcec
Director of Content & Marketing Communications
Equilar, Inc.

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