The Highest Paid CEOs

The significant stock gains of 2016 meant it was a good year for CEOs and their pay packages. Average pay for CEOs at U.S.-based or listed companies with more than $1 billion in revenue rose 2% in fiscal year 2016 to $19.7 million, according to the latest Equilar 200 study.

The highest pay increases were seen by the recently deceased Ronald D. Croatti of UniFirst (UNF), United Therapeutics’s (UTHR) Martine A. Rothblatt, and Broadcom’s (AVGO) Hock E. Tan. Those awarded dramatically lower amounts were Heather Bresch, who steered Mylan (MYL) during the EpiPen furor, Marc Benioff, the Saleforce (CRM) chief who took a 60% pay cut to appease investors, and First Data’s (FDC) Frank Bisignano. (See also: A Guide To CEO Compensation)

The wide-ranging „services“ sector accounted for the most number of executives on the list and also highest median pay package of $20.1 million.

Sixteen women, one more than last year, made it to the ranking. Median pay awarded to female CEOs was $17.6 million, down from $18.6 million in 2015. Women also received a higher pay package on average than the men. (See also: Top women CEOs)

Notably, a New York Times analysis of the data showed that since taking office, President Trump had met with 41 of the 200 CEOs on the list.

These are are the highest paid CEOs of 2016:

1. Thomas M. Rutledge – Charter Communications (CHTR)

Total Compensation: $98 million

Rutledge’s pay rose 499% last year, from $16.4 million in 2015. Almost $78 million of this amount was received in the form of stock option grants. The grant was a part of the five-year employment contract Rutledge signed after the acquisition of Time Warner was completed. Charter also acquired the smaller Bright House Networks last year.

2. Leslie Moonves – CBS (CBS)

Total Compensation: $68.6 million

Leslie Moonves’s compensation rose 22% in 2016, from $56.4 million in 2015. He received a $32 million cash bonus, the largest of anyone on this list, and a $31.9 million stock award. In the SEC filing that disclosed his compensation, the company cited Moonves with driving ratings successes and securing key retransmission, station affiliation, skinny-bundle and streaming deals.

3. David O’Connor – Madison Square Garden (MSG)

Total compensation: $54 million

O’Connor received the largest stock award ($47.2 million) of any CEO on the list. He was named CEO of the sports and entertainment company in June 2015 after spending 30 years at Creative Artists Agency.

4. Fabrizio Freda – Estee Lauder (EL)

Total compensation: $47.7 million

A stock award of $36 million caused Freda’s compensation to rise 196% last year. The award, which won’t vest until 2023, is meant to keep Freda with the company for many years to come.

5. Mark G. Parker – Nike (NKE)

Total compensation: $47.7 million

Parker received a $33 million stock award last year. Unfortunately for him and Nike’s shareholders, the company has disappointed for several consecutive quarters and has dropped 6.41% in the last 12 months.

6. Mark V. Hurd – Oracle (ORCL)

Total compensation: 41.1 million

The co-chief executive received a stock award of $21 million and $18 million in options. Both categories saw cuts from 2015.

7. Robert A. Iger – Disney (DIS)

Total compensation: $41 million

Iger saw a bonus cut of $2 million, which caused his total compensation to drop 6% from 2015.

8. Safra A. Catz – Oracle (ORCL)

Total compensation: $40.9 million

For the second year in a row, Catz was the highest-paid female CEO. She received the same amount in options and stock awards as co-chief executive Mark Hurd, but the difference in overall pay is due to her receiving a lower amount in perks.

9. David M. Zaslav – Discovery Communications (DISCA)

Total compensation: $37.2 million

Zaslav’s compensation rose slightly last year after his 2015 package fell by almost 80% from the year prior.

10. Robert A. Kotick – Activision Blizzard (ATVI)

Total compensation: $33.1 million

The 356% increase in Kotick’s pay package was largely due to the $25 million stock award he received last year thanks to a five-year employment contract. His salary was cut by 26 percent in 2017 after shareholders complained.

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