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Elon Musk Eclipsed Second-Highest-Paid CEO in 2020 Earnings

The sort of pay package tied to high business performance metrics is known as a "moonshot package." 


Tesla CEO Elon Musk got nearly $6.7 billion in compensation in 2020 thanks to stock options that helped him purchase Tesla shares at a pre-set price.

Maja Hitij | Getty Images

That total boosted his earnings to 11 times the amount taken in by the second-highest-paid CEO for the year, Oak Street Health’s Mike Pykosz.

The sort of pay package tied to high business performance metrics is known as a “moonshot package.” 

Related: Elon Musk's Tesla Delays the Long-Awaited Cybertruck Until 2022

Pykosz, according to the Bloomberg Pay Index, got $568 million, primarily through stock and option awards, though his salary, bonuses, and perks figured in slightly.

According to Bloomberg, Musk set a standard three years ago when he began the award program and in 2020, at least 15 company leaders got similar awards worth $100 million or more. 

He is still firmly at the top, even as other companies incorporate awards similar to his. In fact, the Pay Index includes a button that gives readers the option to “Scale without Elon Musk” because he’s so far ahead of everyone else on the list. 

Musk’s “moonshot package” worked so well for him because Tesla hit the required business targets based on revenue growth, stock price, and other figures that were defined in 2018, when the award system was implemented.

This is his third straight year atop Bloomberg’s list.

Related: 3 Lessons We Should Learn From the Space-Bound Billionaires