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Knowledge Center Reports

200 Highest-Paid CEOs 2016

May 27, 2016

The New York Times recently published its coverage of the annual Equilar 200 study, which analyzes 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.

The introductory page of this feature shows the Top 10 highest-paid CEOs. Below that, there is a link to the full list of the 200 highest-paid CEOs in an interactive chart that allows you to sort by pay, change in compensation year over year, company revenue and total shareholder return (TSR) to see how pay aligns with company performance and shareholder return. You may also download that information in an Excel sheet by filling out the form to your right.

The Top 10 Highest-Paid CEOs

Dara Khosrowshahi Dara Khosrowshahi
Expedia (EXPE)
$94.6 881% 47%
Leslie Moonves Leslie Moonves
$56.4 4% -14%
Philippe P. Dauman Philippe P. Dauman
Viacom (VIAB)
$54.1 22% -42%
Mark V. Hurd Mark V. Hurd
Oracle (ORCL)
$53.2 n/a 5%
Safra A. Catz Safra A. Catz
Oracle (ORCL)
$53.2 n/a 5%
Frank J. Bisignano Frank J. Bisignano
First Data (FDC)
$51.6 454% n/a
Leonard S. Schleifer Leonard S. Schleifer
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN)
$47.5 13% 32%
Robert A. Iger Robert A. Iger
Walt Disney (DIS)
$43.5 0% 17%
Sandeep Mathrani Sandeep Mathrani
General Growth Properties (GGP)
$39.2 702% -1%
Howard M. Lorber Howard M. Lorber
Vector Group (VGR)
$37.0 29% 24%

The full list of CEOs is on the following page in an interactive table.

Click Here

Key Trends and Takeaways

  • Pay grows at the top, but more modestly than 2014. Median pay for Equilar 200 CEOs was $16.6 million in fiscal year 2015. The CEOs on this list saw a 5% pay increase at the median. However, CEOs on last year’s Equilar 200 list earned 21% more at the median than in 2013. Average pay for Equilar 200 CEOs in 2015 was $19.3 million, compared to $22.6 million in 2014.

  • Highest pay packages were earned in special circumstances. Dara Khosrowshahi was the highest-paid CEO in the Equilar 200, earning $94.6 million chiefly due to a new stock option grant. His total pay was 881% more than the $9.6 million he was awarded in 2014. Other notable standouts in the top 10 were Frank Bisignano of First Data and Sandeep Mathrani of General Growth Properties. Bisignano earned $51.6 million, 454% more than 2014 due to IPO retention awards, and Mathrani was awarded $39.2 million, 702% more than the previous year due to a $25 million grant of full-value restricted stock units as part of a long-term incentive plan.

  • 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 earned less than $100 million. This is only the second time since the recession that this has occurred.

  • Though few in number, the top female CEOs outpace the field. 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. 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. Catz is the highest-ranking female since the inception of the Equilar | New York Times study of the 200 highest-paid CEOs.

  • 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.

*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).

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