The pandemic has created much economic uncertainty, but not for the top executives of leading North America-based companies.
Among select ecommerce businesses, Amazon CEO Andrew Jassy led the list, with a pay package valued at $212.7 million in 2021, according to the company’s proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in April. Shopify’s Tobias Lutke earned $20 million.
Since 2011, Equilar (a recruiting and compensation-consulting firm) and the Associated Press have jointly produced an annual CEO compensation report. The current edition, published in May 2022, evaluated compensation for CEOs at S&P 500 companies who have held the position for at least two years as of December 31, 2021. Included companies had to have submitted an SEC proxy between January 1 and April 30, 2022.
According to the report, Peter Kern, CEO of Expedia Group, had a salary of $296.3 million in 2021, making him the U.S.’s highest-paid CEO from this year’s research. David Zaslav of Warner Bros. Discovery was second at $246.6 million.
According to the Equilar study, the communication services sector had a median CEO pay of $20.3 million in 2021, the highest of any U.S. industry. The technology sector was second with median pay of $16.6 million.
Kruze Consulting is a U.S.-focused provider of accounting, finance, and tax services to seed and venture-capital-funded startups. In May 2022, the company published its “2022 Startup CEO Salary Report.” The info, per the report, “comes from an anonymized dataset comprising more than 250 venture-funded startups spanning several industries, including Biotech, e-Commerce, Edtech, Fintech, Healthtech, Hardware, SaaS, and more.”
According to the Kruze report, in 2022 the average startup CEO salary grew 2.7% from 2021 to $150,000, while the median increased to $140,000.
Healy Jones, vice president of Kruze, stated, “The interesting thing here is how the companies that have raised more capital (and who are confident that they can continue to access capital) are paying much higher CEO salaries. However, lightly funded startups — where the founders probably have more control over the pay than the VCs — are paying less as founders start to react to the more conservative funding environment.”