10 Highest Paid CEO’s
Posted by Media Outrage on April 5, 2010
CEO’s are still making that real change while the rest of the world continues to chase bills. Larry Ellison is king of the crop when it comes to 2009’s highest paid CEO’s…
1. Larry Ellison: $84.5 Million
It’s been a good past few months for Oracle’s brash CEO: Ellison won the America’s Cup sailing event in February, and the just-finalized proxy filings showed he took home more pay than any other U.S. CEO in 2009.
The software giant also had a big year in 2009, snatching up Sun Microsystems when a Sun takeover by rival IBM seemed all but certain. Sales and profits rose modestly, and Oracle’s stock, which rose 33.2% in 2009, outpaced most of its chief competitors.
Most of Ellison’s pay came in the form of stock option awards, which he has made use of recently: In 2008, Ellison exercised a stunning 36 million options, banking $543 million.
2. Ray Elliott: $33.4 Million
The medical supplies company CEO had a base salary of just under $600,000 — the lowest on the list — after taking the company’s reins in July. But he still managed to place second on this list by taking home $14.2 million in stock awards and $15.2 million in stock options.
Boston Scientific returned to profitability in the third quarter last year, but still managed to lose $1 billion over the course of the year. In October, the company slashed its outlook, expecting demand for its products to erode in 2010. The company’s stock trailed its competitors’ but still managed to rise 14%, despite its disappointing forecast and financials.
3. Ray Irani: $31.4 Million
Irani, who perpetually tops pay lists, steered the company back to success in 2009. The energy company’s stock rose faster than its peers last year, recovering almost all of its stock losses in 2008.
Like Ellison, Irani has made a killing by exercising stock options: Two years ago, he pocketed more than $180 million worth of options. Despite the stock’s performance, some shareholders are fed up with Irani’s sky-high paydays: The company’s shareholders approved a “say on pay” rule last year, which goes into effect in the 2010 annual meeting.
4. Mark Hurd: $24.2 Million
Cash compensation: $17.6 million
Unlike most members of this list, most of Hurd’s pay came in the form of a cash bonus, which totaled $15.8 million in 2009. Still, his pay fell more than 29% last year, as his salary and bonus were slashed. At the helm of the world’s largest tech company, Hurd oversaw even more growth at HP in 2009, when his company agreed to buy networking company 3Com in November. HP recovered from a lingering PC sales slump by cutting costs and jobs, and posted impressive earnings results and an improved outlook by the end of the year. Shares rose nearly 40%, matching its peers.
5. James Hackett: $23.5 Million
Hackett’s pay rose 6% in 2009 as his company’s shares soared 54%. That’s despite Anadarko’s revenues and earnings tumbling last year as demand for oil slumped. But that was true for almost all oil companies. Investors instead focused on the good news coming from the company over the year, including successful the location of new sources of oil. The company made a potentially enormous discovery in the Gulf of Mexico in July and a large find in September off the coast of Sierra Leone.
The company also won an important court battle in October, which let Anadarko keep $350 million in royalties from off-shore drilling that the Obama administration said should be paid to the government.
6. A.G. Lafley: $23.5 Million
P&G sat out last year’s stock market rally, which is becoming a familiar theme: Lafley has raked in $71 million of compensation over three years, even as shares of the Cincinnati-based seller of Tide and Crest rose just 2%.
Lafley, who was named president and CEO in 2000, retired from the company in February 2010.
7. William Welding: $22.8 Million
Weldon’s latest big paycheck came in a year when J&J posted its first annual sales decline in 76 years and set plans to cut as many as 8,000 jobs to rein in costs. The board rewarded Weldon, who has taken down $88 million over three years by the company’s count, with a raise on account of — among other things — the “difficult personnel decisions” he had to make.
8. Miles White: $21.9 Million
Believe it or not, this year’s sweet numbers constitute a paycut for White, who made $25 million in 2008 and $29 million in 2007, thanks to big stock option grants. But not all his numbers are falling: The company’s cost of providing security for White surged 67% in 2009, to $300,193.
9. Bob Iger: $21.6 Million
Iger’s pay package is his lowest since 2006. His performance bonus tumbled by a third, reflecting a 20% drop in earnings and a 4% sales decline as the company struggles to revive its theme parks, where profits have been hit by weak traffic and heavy discounting.
10. Samuel Palmisano: $21.2 Million
Palmisano’s 2009 take includes $1.1 million in “other compensation,” including $320,065 of personal travel on company aircraft. Because family members sometimes join him aboard IBM planes, the company adds, “Mr. Palmisano has contributed $63,000 to the IBM International Foundation to fund contributions to Columbia University.”