Market Overview

Top Ten Highest-Paid CEOs

Life is good at the top, isn't it?

In a time when millions of Americans are unemployed and millions more are vastly underemployed, the very top of the food chain — corporate CEOs — raked in some pretty ridiculous cash.

How ridiculous? You could take the top 299 CEOs most recent compensation and, in their place, hire over 100,000 workers at the median wage. Not the minimum wage. Not the Walmart (NYSE: WAL) wage. The median, really decent, living wage. One hundred thousand new jobs, poof, just like that.

In other words, it's a hefty sum. So hefty, in fact, that lobbyists are trying to rewrite the laws to hide how much CEOs make from investors and the general public. After all, wouldn't want the masses to know just how much we're paying those at the top.

So, who made the most last year?

Top Ten Most Highly Compensated CEOs of 2010

  • Liberty Media (NASDAQ: LCAPA) CEO Gregory Maffei: $87,493,565
  • Viacom (NYSE: VIA) CEO Phillipe Dauman: $84,515,308
  • Occidental Petroleum (NYSE: OXY) CEO Ray Irani: $76,107,010
  • Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) CEO Lawrence Ellison: $70,143,075
  • CBS (NYSE: CBS) CEO Leslie Moonves: $57,729,020
  • Gamco Investors (NYSE: GBL) CEO Mario Gabelli: $56,608,736
  • McKesson (NYSE: MCK) CEO John Hammergren: $54,584,021
  • Jefferies Group (NYSE: JEF) CEO Richard Handler: $47,349,121
  • Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO) CEO Carol Bartz: $47,229,273
  • Discovery Communications (NYSE: DISCA) (NYSE: DISCB) (NYSE: DISCK) CEO David Zaslav: $42,589,296

Not that middle of the road CEOs somehow did poorly for themselves. Overall, the average CEO compensation is now at $11.4 million. I would be willing to bet most of us could make $11.4 million a year work for us, budget-wise. Just something to think about next year, when bailout round two begins and these folks pop up on TV looking for a handout.

Posted-In: CEO PayNews Politics Management Global General Best of Benzinga

 

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