This List of the Highest-Paid CEOs May Surprise You

Equilar has released its annual look at the 100 biggest companies in the country.
This List of the Highest-Paid CEOs May Surprise You
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Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.
2 min read

If you had to guess, what American CEO do you think makes the most money? Amazon or Apple? Maybe Google or Facebook?

It turns out that it’s Charter Communications CEO Thomas M. Rutledge, who leads one of the country’s top cable operators and has an income of $98,012,344 a year. That’s according to research firm Equilar, which this week released its annual list of the top-paid CEOs of the largest U.S. companies by revenue.

Related: 6 Millennial CEOs Share How They Closed Their First Six-Figure Deal

Number two on the list is Nike’s Mark G. Parker, with an annual compensation of $47,615,302. Members of Oracle’s leadership sit in both the number-three and five slots, with co-CEO Mark V. Hurd making $41,121,896 and co-CEO Safra A. Catz earning $40,943,812. In fourth is Disney’s Bob Iger, who makes $40,988,618.

Equilar found that the average pay of the top 100 CEOs increased in 2016, jumping to $16.6 million from $15.5 million in 2015.

Of the 100 CEOs on the list, only nine are women, up from eight in 2015; however, the researchers found that the median compensation for female CEOs is higher than the median for male CEOs -- $21.2 million for the nine women and $14.4 million for the 91 men in the ranking.

Related: Women Won't Have Equal Numbers of Board Seats Until 2055, New Study Finds

In addition to Catz, three other women made the top-10 list, with HP’s Margaret Whitman coming in at number six, IBM’s Ginny Rometty at number eight and Pepsi’s Indra Nooyi at number 10.

Just because a company is rolling in the dough does not mean its leader is taking more home. Apple has the second-highest revenue of any American company, though CEO Tim Cook earns $8,747,719. Berkshire Hathaway takes the top spot -- the conglomerate brought in $223.6 billion in 2016. But Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, who is currently the second-wealthiest person in the world, is actually the lowest-paid CEO on the Equilar 100, having earned $487,881 last year.
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