Last year was a good year to be a CEO. That’s because a new study found that the typical CEO of a public company made $9.6 million, in what represented a 6 percent increase in salary from the previous year.
The nearly $10 million annual salary was also the highest total in the history of the Associated Press (AP) poll that has found the average salaries of CEOs annually since 2006. A majority of this money came in the form of stock awards. The data found that the average stock award for a CEO of a public company came to $3.6 million, up 11 percent from the 2010 total. Average cash bonuses came to $2 million, down 7 percent from 2010, according to the AP. The typical CEO also received $1.7 million in stock options, which allow CEOs to buy shares of stock at the price during the issuance of the options.
The highest paid CEOs were significant outliers to the $9.6 million average salary. David Simon, CEO of Simon Property, the biggest real estate company in the world, received a $137 million salary in 2011. A majority of that came from $132 million in stock awards, according to the AP report. Other highly paid CEOs included:
- CBS CEO Leslie Moonves ($68 million)
- Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav ($52 million)
- Motorola Mobility's CEO Sanjay Jha ($47.2 million)
- Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman ($43 million)
CEO salaries were not the only thing that rose last year. According to the AP report, profits at companies listed in the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 16 percent in 2011. The AP also found that the typical salary for workers was up 1 percent over the past year to just under $40,000.
The information in the AP report was based on data from executive pay research firm Equilar. Equilar based its data on 322 companies in the S&P 500. CEOs on the list had to be in place for at least two years to be included. Had Apple CEO Tim Cook been in place for two years, his $378 million salary would have taken the top spot.
Reach BusinessNewsDaily staff writer David Mielach at Dmielach@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @D_M89.