Top 10 Highest Paid CEOs In 2023: Elon Musk Nowhere To Be Found, Where Tim Cook, Ted Sarandos Rank

Zinger Key Points
  • A new report shows who the highest paid CEOs of S&P 500 stocks were in 2023.
  • The median pay for an S&P 500 CEO was $15.7 million in 2023. That set a new record for the annual list.

Senator Bernie Sanders may want to look away from a new report that highlights 2023’s highest-paid CEOs of S&P 500 companies.

The Vermont senator is working to pass legislation that would increase taxes on companies that pay their CEOs 50 times more than the pay of their median worker.

What Happened: The latest list of highest-paid S&P 500 CEOs includes several top names in the technology sector as well as a CEO that has drawn increased scrutiny for high pay as his company conducted multiple layoffs.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the top ten highest-paid CEOs of S&P 500 companies in 2023, including equity awards and cash pay are:

  1. Hock Tan, Broadcom AVGO, $161.8 million, +167% year-over-year
  2. Nikesh Arora, Palo Alto Networks PANW, $151.4 million, +1,355%
  3. Stephen Schwarzman, Blackstone BX, $119.8 million, -52.7%
  4. Christopher Winfrey, Charter Communications CHTR, $89.1 million, +470%
  5. Will Lansing, Fair Isaac Corporation FICO, $64.3 million, +251%
  6. Tim Cook, Apple Inc AAPL, $63.2 million, -36.4%
  7. Hamid Moghadam, Prologics PLD, $50.9 million, +5.7%
  8. Ted Sarandos, Netflix Inc NFLX, $50.0 million, -0.9%
  9. David Zaslav, Warner Bros. Discovery WBD, $49.7 million, +26.5%
  10. Glenn Fogel, Booking Holdings BKNG, $46.7 million, +51.8%

The median pay for an S&P 500 CEO was $15.7 million in 2023. That set a new record for the annual list.

The median was $14.5 million in 2022 — a decline from the previous record of $14.75 million set in 2021. Ten years ago, the median CEO pay was $7.39 million for the 2013 year.

Many of the top-paid CEOs saw large equity awards with stocks performing strong in 2023. The report notes that Tan has to stay in the CEO role for five years and Broadcom's share has to reach certain targets to receive the full value of his pay. Tan also won't get more equity or cash bonuses for five years after the large 2023 awards.

Of the top ten highest-paid CEOs, Zaslav received the highest amount in cash at $25 million, followed by Sarandos at $19.5 million.

There were 31 women S&P 500 CEOs in 2023, none appeared in the top 25 of the highest-paid CEOs for the year.

Related Link: Hollywood’s Horrible Year? Not For CEOs – Disney’s Bob Iger, Warner Bros.’ David Zaslav Enjoy Huge Paydays

Why It's Important: Of the top 10 highest paid CEOs, Lansing was the only one to be at a company that was one of the top 10 performing S&P 500 stocks in 2023.

Ranking outside the top 10 at 23rd was NVIDIA Corporation NVDA CEO Jensen Huang, who lead the company that was the top performing S&P 500 stock in 2023. Huang saw his pay increase over 60% with higher value of restricted stock awards reported.

Tesla Inc TSLA was another one of the top-performing stocks in 2023. According to the report, Tesla CEO Elon Musk had no compensation in 2023. The report comes as a pay package valued at over $50 billion for Musk is in limbo after a judge ruled it was invalid.

High pay for media CEOs in the wake of the Hollywood strikes and job cuts in the sector continues to be a hot topic. Zaslav and Sarandos ranking in the top 10 might not sit well with Hollywood workers, who were striking for their fair share of earnings from streaming and other areas.

Also adding insult to injury could be the fact that Netflix has co-CEOs. While Sarandos ranked eighth on the list, Netflix co-CEO Greg Peters ranked 13th with total 2023 compensation of $40.12 million, including $16.83 million in cash.

The report also found that the 20% of CEOs whose stock had the worst performance in 2023 had median total pay of $14.6 million in 2023.

Read Next: World’s Top 10 Richest People Gained More Wealth In 2023 Than Walmart’s Total Value: How Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos And Others Fared

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Posted In: NewsManagementTop StoriesChristopher WinfreyDavid ZaslavElon MuskGlenn FogelGreg PetersHamid MoghadamHock TanJensen Huangmedia stocksNikesh AroraS&P 500Stephen SchwarzmanStories That MatterTechnology StocksTed SarandosTim CookWill Lansing
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