CEO Pay continued to dominate the AGM season in 2019. As we take a break over the summer, it’s worth reviewing the top 50 highest paid CEOs and seeing how this has changed from 2018.

We also take a look at how the performance of these companies has increased to understand how executives are rewarded for performance.

Key CEO pay take aways from the first half of 2019 :

  • The top 50 total granted compensation has increased by over 300% from 2018 to 2019 ($4.49bn compared to $1.12bn).
  • Although over 50% of the $4.4bn is attributable to one individual’s granted compensation (Elon Musk, Tesla: $2.28bn).
  • Even discounting this outlier, total granted executive compensation increased by 97%.
  • Meanwhile the average growth in market capitalisation was around 3% from 2018.
  • And 1 year Total Shareholder Return (TSR) actually shrank by 1%.

 

Given these significant increases in total granted compensation compared to the value being delivered to shareholders, it’s easy to see why CEO pay and compensation continues to dominate AGM discussions.

Trending Top 50 CEOs

Ranking

CEO

Company

Total Granted
Compensation

Total Realised Pay

TSR in %

TSR 1YR growth in
%point

1

Musk, Elon

Tesla, Inc.

$2,284,044,884
(
54575310%)

$56,380 (513%)

57%

515%

2

Smith, Patrick

Axon Enterprise, Inc.

$246,026,710
(
56433%)

$25,488,720
(
5472%)

565%

592%

3

Zaslav, David

Discovery Communications, Inc.

$129,499,005
(
5207%)

$33,498,259
(
662%)

511%

543%

4

Glancey, Stephen

C&C Group plc

$119,819,023
(
510%)

$1,643,004
(
536%)

50%

62%

5

Hodler, Bernhard

Julius Baer Group Ltd.

$78,813,367
(
54694%)

$2,979,804
(
581%)

640%

639%

6

Levine, Jay

OneMain Holdings, Inc.

$71,532,583
(
516913%)

$71,532,583
(
516913%)

67%

62%

7

Schwarzman, Stephen

The Blackstone Group L.P.

$69,147,028
(
645%)

$69,147,028
(
645%)

50%

51%

8

Legere, John

T-Mobile US, Inc.

$66,538,206
(
5270%)

$42,071,611
(
5243%)

50%

57%

9

Iger, Robert

The Walt Disney Company

$65,645,214
(
581%)

$66,065,073
(
68%)

54%

56%

10

Steele, Gary

Proofpoint, Inc.

$64,730,296
(
5892%)

$54,931,367
(
528%)

66%

510%

11

Charlès, Bernard

Dassault Systèmes SE

$51,098,970
(
577%)

$65,983,199
(
578%)

518%

517%

12

Alber, Laura

Williams-Sonoma, Inc.

$50,758,332
(
5252%)

$28,830,401
(
5224%)

51%

63%

13

Heppelmann, James

PTC Inc.

$49,969,163
(
5403%)

$17,041,464
(
5107%)

536%

546%

14

Freda, Fabrizio

The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

$48,753,819
(
50%)

$9,387,109
(
683%)

53%

56%

15

Buckley, Henry

Uni-Select Inc.

$47,774,090
(
52687%)

$47,012,426
(
53416%)

630%

634%

16

Handler, Richard

Jefferies Financial Group Inc.

$44,674,213
(
5105%)

$5,951,709
(
5339%)

633%

638%

17

Kilroy, John

Kilroy Realty Corporation

$43,624,774
(
5282%)

$18,204,958
(
622%)

614%

610%

18

Bird, Lewis

At Home Group Inc.

$43,089,790
(
52477%)

$1,614,791
(
63%)

639%

632%

19

Lebda, Douglas

LendingTree, Inc.

$42,318,238
(
629%)

$164,584,011
(
53682%)

636%

628%

20

MacMillan, Stephen

Hologic, Inc.

$42,040,142
(
5275%)

$12,231,622
(
656%)

64%

56%

21

Hogan, Joseph

Align Technology, Inc.

$41,758,338
(
5256%)

$69,763,660
(
5504%)

66%

61%

22

Schulman, Daniel

PayPal Holdings, Inc.

$37,764,588
(
596%)

$41,295,115
(
5328%)

514%

517%

23

Hastings, Reed

Netflix, Inc.

$36,080,417
(
548%)

$4,064,854
(
698%)

539%

547%

24

Roberts, Brian

Comcast Corporation

$35,026,207
(
58%)

$47,400,117
(
640%)

613%

613%

25

Jellison, Brian

Roper Technologies, Inc.

$34,931,318
(
520%)

$142,847,568
(
5103%)

54%

59%

26

Wenig, Devin

eBay Inc.

$34,842,832
(
597%)

$19,946,164
(
566%)

626%

628%

27

Thiry, Kent

DaVita Inc.

$32,017,501
(
5109%)

$13,983,054
(
610%)

629%

632%

28

Kotick, Robert

Activision Blizzard, Inc.

$30,841,004
(
57%)

$4,307,586
(
697%)

626%

622%

29

Wichmann, David

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated

$30,824,112
(
577%)

$22,558,157
(
673%)

515%

518%

30

Dimon, James

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

$30,033,745
(
56%)

$18,136,934
(
687%)

67%

68%

31

Lutnick, Howard

BGC Partners, Inc.

$29,694,152
(
589%)

$17,791,850
(
511%)

643%

659%

32

Stephenson, Randall

AT&T Inc.

$29,118,118
(
51%)

$21,606,548
(
614%)

622%

69%

33

Narayen, Shantanu

Adobe Systems Incorporated

$28,397,528
(
529%)

$67,297,455
(
555%)

529%

534%

 

Benioff, Marc

salesforce.com, inc.

$28,391,846
(
5510%)

$44,183,075
(
662%)

534%

549%

35

Moghadam, Hamid

Prologis, Inc.

$28,201,397
(
546%)

$35,887,540
(
56%)

66%

516%

36

Gorman, James

Morgan Stanley

$28,168,639
(
515%)

$19,299,856
(
652%)

623%

624%

37

Florance, Andrew

CoStar Group, Inc.

$27,555,954
(
5159%)

$18,644,383
(
517%)

514%

520%

38

Greenberg, Robert

Skechers U.S.A., Inc.

$27,361,406
(
5252%)

$11,157,656
(
515%)

640%

637%

39

Umpleby, D.

Caterpillar Inc.

$27,289,513
(
594%)

$14,840,544
(
5171%)

618%

616%

40

Fink, Laurence

BlackRock, Inc.

$26,543,344
(
64%)

$51,471,260
(
561%)

622%

621%

41

Schleifer, Leonard

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

$26,520,555
(
50%)

$117,840,017
(
524%)

61%

56%

42

Chenault, Kenneth

American Express Company

$24,208,661
(
530%)

$54,431,474
(
642%)

63%

61%

43

Holmes, Stephen

Wyndham Worldwide Corporation

$21,479,166
(
542%)

$50,161,004
(
553%)

629%

669%

44

Johnson, R.

HCA Healthcare, Inc.

$21,419,906
(
524%)

$109,050,692
(
51407%)

543%

544%

45

Banga, Ajaypal

MasterCard Incorporated

$20,379,353
(
59%)

$60,704,447
(
5145%)

525%

528%

46

Brown, Gregory

Motorola Solutions, Inc.

$20,348,558
(
533%)

$69,555,180
(
5137%)

530%

535%

47

Minogue, Michael

ABIOMED, Inc.

$19,243,230
(
587%)

$123,043,867
(
5907%)

573%

585%

48

Casper, Marc

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.

$18,607,103
(
616%)

$85,476,755
(
5161%)

518%

524%

49

Meyer, James

Sirius XM Holdings Inc.

$17,633,953
(
582%)

$50,452,233
(
5331%)

57%

56%

50

Fairbank, Richard

Capital One Financial Corporation

$17,333,796
(
57%)

$108,527,637
(
557%)

623%

622%

[1] Compensation in USD – exchange rates based on single point of time, end of tax year 2018.

[2] Excludes executives appointed since 2017 season.

Want to know the impact COVID-19 has had on executive compensation?

Download our latest whitepaper to learn how you can address a range of governance, design and administration challenges that involve executive and non-employee director compensation programs.

Latest Industry News, Views & Information

Tesco’s Shareholders Vote Against the Approval of Directors’ Remuneration Report

At Tesco’s AGM on Friday June 26, 2020, two-thirds of the shareholders voted against the resolution to approve the Directors’ remuneration report. Find out why

Bennett and the Ashford Companies: Corporate Governance Pitfalls and Lessons

The companies controlled by hotelier Monty Bennett have seen controversy for exploiting a government loan program designed to help small businesses. Learn how misaligned Pay for Performance, and an unbalanced board, can result in poor decision-making and increase governance risk.

AMP Receives Second “First Strike” Within Three Years

This article examines AMP Limited’s governance practices, board of directors’ skills and expertise, and their CEO Pay for Performance, to undestand why it found itself in hot water with the Australian Royal Commission.