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Knowledge Center Reports

Equilar 100: Highest-Paid CEOs at the Largest Companies by Revenue

April 11, 2018

Each year, the Equilar 100 examines CEO compensation at the largest companies by revenue to provide an early look at executive pay trends. The study includes companies that filed annual proxy statements before March 31, considered the “half-way” point in the annual proxy season. Thousands more public companies will file executive compensation data during the month of April, and the annual Equilar 200 study with The New York Times will be forthcoming in late May. That study will provide a comprehensive look at the largest pay packages provided to all public company chief executives in fiscal year 2017.

The introductory page of this feature shows the Top 10 highest-paid CEOs at Equilar 100 companies. Below the highest-paid CEO table, there is a link to the full Equilar 100 in an interactive chart that allows you to sort by compensation and performance measurements. A summary of key highlights from the report follows on this page.

Highest-Paid CEOs at Equilar 100 Companies

COMPANY (Ticker)
Hock E. Tan Hock E. Tan
Broadcom (AVGO)
$103,211,163 318% $17,636
Brian Duperreault Brian Duperreault
American International Group (AIG)
$42,755,012 n/a $49,520
Mark V Hurd Mark V. Hurd
Oracle (ORCL)
$40,832,279 -1% $37,728
Safra A. Catz Safra A. Catz
Oracle (ORCL)
$40,729,965 -1% $37,728
Robert A. Iger Robert A. Iger
Walt Disney (DIS)
$36,283,680 -11% $55,137
Ian Read Ian Read
Pfizer (PFE)
$26,165,138 54% $52,546
Indra K. Nooyi Indra K. Nooyi
PepsiCo (PEP)
$25,891,211 3% $63,525
Randall L. Stephenson Randall L. Stephenson
AT&T (T)
$25,300,661 1% $160,546
Michael F. Neidorff Michael F. Neidorff
Centene (CNC)
$25,259,468 15% $48,382
Alex Gorsky Alex Gorsky
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
$22,843,420 8% $76,450

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

Click Here

Key Trends and Takeaways

  • Median pay again rose for Equilar 100 CEOs. Median pay for Equilar 100 CEOs overall was $15.7 million in fiscal year 2017, in comparison to $15.0 million for the CEOs on the previous year’s list*.

    On an individual level, Equilar 100 CEOs saw a 5% pay increase at the median in fiscal year 2017. By comparison, the median pay increase for CEOs on last year’s Equilar 100 list was 6%.

  • The median CEO pay ratio for the Equilar 100 was 235:1. Among the 69 companies on the list reporting the ratio of CEO pay to that of a median employee, the median ratio was 235:1. Because the pay ratio disclosure was required for companies whose fiscal year began on or after January 1, 2017, 31 companies in the Equilar 100 were exempt from reporting this figure in their most recent proxy statements.

  • The highest ratio was not correlated to the highest pay. Manpower Group, a provider of workplace solutions, reported the highest ratio among Equilar 100 companies at 2,483:1. Its CEO, Jonas Prising, was awarded $12.0 million in 2017, translating to the 76th highest-paid among Equilar 100 CEOs. Yet because the company’s 600,000 employees are mostly on temporary work assignments, the median pay among them was $4,828. Warren Buffett, with his annual compensation of $100,000, turned in the lowest CEO pay ratio at approximately 2:1.

  • Though few in number, women CEOs are concentrated among the highest-paid. Of the eight women represented on this year’s Equilar 100 list, five were among the top 20 highest-paid. Safra Catz of Oracle, fourth on the highest-paid list, was awarded $40.7 million in 2017, essentially flat from the year before. Notably, the number of women CEOs in the Equilar 100 dropped in 2017 from nine to eight, one of whom was Meg Whitman, who has since left her position at Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

  • Berkshire and Apple once again led in total revenue. Berkshire Hathaway was the largest company by revenue in the second straight Equilar 100 study, earning $242.1 billion in fiscal year 2017, an 8% gain from the previous year. Apple remained the only other company with more than $200 billion in revenue, increasing 6% to $229.2 billion in 2017. AT&T had the third-largest revenue on the list with $160.5 billion.

*Note: 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.

For information regarding the Equilar 100 and the underlying datasets, or to learn more about Equilar Research Services, please contact the Equilar research team at

Amit Batish, Content Manager, authored this report. For more information on Equilar research and data analysis, please contact him at

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