If you’re the CEO of a major company, it’s a pretty safe bet your wallet isn’t hurting, unless, of course, you keep it in one of your back pockets. Among the top-paid CEOs, however, average compensation actually fell by 15 percent between 2014 and 2015.
That’s according to the New York Times’ annual Equilar 200 Highest-Paid CEOs study. And the major components of CEO pay, cash and stock awards, also slid in 2015. The largest payout of the year went to Dara Khosrowshahi of Expedia, who pulled in a whopping $94.6 million, but that made 2015 the first year since 2012 that a CEO didn’t top $100 million, according to the Times.
Here’s the top 10 CEOs by compensation in 2015, according to the Times’ Equilar study:
- Dara Khosrowshahi, Expedia, $94.6 million
- Leslie Moonves, CBS, $56.4 million
- Philippe P. Dauman, Viacom, $54.1 million
- Mark V. Hurd, Oracle, $53.2 million
- Safra A. Catz, Oracle, $53.2 million
- Frank J. Bisignano, First Data, $51.6 million
- Leonard S. Schleifer, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, $47.5 million
- Robert A. Iger, Walt Disney, $43.5 million
- Sandeep Mathrani, General Growth Properties, $39.2 million
- Howard M. Lorber, Vector Group, $37 million
The Times noted that compensation and performance don’t necessarily align for CEOs. For example, the pay of Viacom’s Dauman — currently the subject of firing rumors — rose 22 percent while his company’s share price fell 43 percent.
Although the average compensation of the top-paid 200 CEOs declined, CEO pay advanced by other measures last year. An Associated Press study, also performed by the executive compensation data firm Equilar, found that CEOs got a 4.5 percent raise. The AP study looked at the median pay for CEOs of companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index: Their pay rose to $10.8 million last year from $10.3 million the previous year. That raise of $468,449 is about 10 times more than what the typical U.S. worker pulls in during a year, AP pointed out.
And yet another recent Equilar study, this one for Fortune, found that among the 100 largest companies by revenue, CEO pay climbed 3 percent.
The facts about CEO pay are a bit murky. Sliced some ways, it was up in 2015, and sliced other ways, it was down last year. But, no matter how you slice it, CEO pay is high. And you can take that to the bank.