Top 8 Highest-Paid CEOs in the U.S. in 2024: Salaries Revealed

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The increase in compensation for chief executive officers (CEOs) at the largest U.S. companies continued in 2023, according to the 2024 edition of the Equilar 100. The median CEO pay rose to $23.7 million, an increase of 11.4% for the same group of companies from the previous year.

According to Equilar, the rise in CEO compensation was mainly due to the increase in the value of stock awards. Median stock awards grew by 20.9% in 2023, from $12.6 million to $15.3 million.

“Among Equilar 100 CEOs in 2023, stock awards made up nearly 65% of median total compensation,” the report notes. “Additionally, total cash compensation increased by roughly 4% to $6.1 million, with cash bonuses increasing by 2.4% to $3.9 million.”

So, how much do CEOs make at the largest U.S. companies? Are they overpaid or fairly compensated? We have compiled a list of top chief executive officers’ salaries to see who sets the highest bar.

Key Takeaways

  • The increase in compensation for CEOs at the largest U.S. companies continued in 2023.
  • Several factors, including company size, industry, financial performance, and market competitiveness, influence a CEO’s salary.
  • The average CEO salary in the U.S. is $838,489, but the range typically falls between $633,609 and $1,080,346.
  • Hock Tan, CEO of Broadcom Inc., is the highest-paid CEO at $161,826,161.

Average CEO Salary in the U.S. in 2024

So, how much do CEOs typically make per year?

According to Salary.com, the average CEO salary in the United States is $838,489 (as of April 24, 2024), but the range typically falls between $633,609 and $1,080,346.

However, according to Indeed, the average base chief executive officer’s salary in the U.S. is $145,232 (as of May 20, 2024), with a low of $74,027 and a high of $284,925.

But who is the highest-paid CEO?

According to Equilar, the highest-paid CEO in the USA is Hock Tan, CEO of Broadcom, whose pay package was nearly $162 million in 2023.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, is not included on this list, likely because in January 2024, a state court in Delaware invalidated the $55.8 billion pay package that Tesla’s board of directors awarded to Elon Musk in 2018.

Top 8 Highest-Paid CEOs

The following are the eight highest-paid CEOs in the United States:

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Chart showing the top 8 highest-paid CEOs in the U.S.

8. Hamid Moghadam – Prologis – $50,891,597

Hamid Moghadam is the CEO and chairman of Prologis, a logistics real estate investment trust. Moghadam co-founded the company in 1983, and under his leadership, it has become the largest owner, operator, and developer of industrial real estate in the world.

Moghadam is widely recognized for his strategic vision and innovative approach to real estate development. He focuses on modern logistics facilities that meet the evolving needs of e-commerce and supply chain management.

Moghadam is a prominent figure in the commercial real estate industry. He’s also known for his deep expertise and commitment to sustainability and corporate responsibility.

7. Jagtar Singh Chaudhry – Zscaler – $57,775,483

Jagtar Singh Chaudhry, also known as Jay Chaudhry, is the founder, CEO, and chairman of Zscaler, a cloud security company. An Indian-American entrepreneur, Chaudhry established Zscaler in 2007 with the goal of revolutionizing internet security through cloud computing.

Before founding Zscaler, Chaudhry successfully founded and led several other technology companies, including AirDefense, CipherTrust, CoreHarbor, and SecureIT, demonstrating a consistent track record of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Under his leadership, Zscaler has become a prominent player in the cybersecurity industry, offering innovative solutions that secure internet traffic for organizations worldwide. Chaudhry’s extensive experience in the tech industry and his pioneering approach to cybersecurity have been instrumental in the company’s success.

6. Timothy Cook – Apple – $63,209,845

Timothy Cook is the CEO of Apple, one of the world’s most valuable and influential technology companies, and also serves on its board of directors. Cook joined Apple as senior vice president for worldwide operations in 1998 and became the company’s chief operating officer in 2007.

In August 2011, Cook was appointed CEO, succeeding Steve Jobs. Under Cook’s leadership, Apple has continued to innovate with such products as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and services, such as Apple Music and Apple TV+.

Cook has also focused on expanding Apple’s presence globally, enhancing supply chain efficiencies, and emphasizing corporate social responsibility, including environmental sustainability and privacy initiatives.

During Cook’s tenure, Apple has achieved record financial performance and maintained its status as a leading technology innovator.

5. William Lansing – Fair Isaac Corp. – $66,349,962

William Lansing is the CEO of Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO), a provider of analytics and decision management technology solutions. In 2006, Lansing joined FICO’s board of directors and became CEO in 2012.

Lansing has a strong background in technology and business, with previous leadership roles at InfoSpace, ValueVision Media, and NBC Internet.

Under his leadership, FICO has expanded its focus on innovative analytics, artificial intelligence, and decision management solutions that help businesses make smarter decisions. Lansing’s strategic vision has been instrumental in driving FICO’s growth and maintaining its position as a market leader in credit scoring and analytics.

4. Christopher Winfrey – Charter Communications – $89,077,078

Christopher Winfrey has been the president and CEO of Charter Communications, a broadband connectivity company and cable operator, since the end of 2022.

Winfrey has been with Charter since 2010, initially serving as chief financial officer before becoming the company’s chief operating officer.

Winfrey has played a pivotal role in the company’s growth and strategic initiatives, including the integration of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, which expanded Charter’s footprint significantly.

With a background in finance and extensive experience in the telecommunications industry, Winfrey is recognized for his leadership and strategic vision in driving Charter’s continued success. Through its Spectrum brand, Charter serves more than 32 million customers in 41 U.S. states.

3. Sue Nabi – Coty – $149,429,486

Sue Nabi, CEO of Coty, is a renowned figure in the beauty industry, celebrated for her transformative leadership at Coty. An Algerian-French national, Nabi began her career at L’Oréal, where she spent two decades in various senior roles, including president of L’Oréal Paris and president of Lancôme.

In 2014 after leaving L’Oréal, Nabi co-founded Orveda, a luxury vegan skincare brand known for its sustainable and science-driven products.

In September 2020, Nabi was appointed CEO of Coty. Her leadership at Coty focuses on innovation, sustainability, and expanding the company’s digital footprint while also emphasizing inclusivity and diversity across all its companies, including CoverGirl, Max Factor, and Rimmel.

2. Nikesh Arora – Palo Alto Networks – $151,425,203

Nikesh Arora is the CEO and chairman of Palo Alto Networks. A prominent Indian-American business executive is known for his leadership roles in major technology and investment firms.

Arora’s career began at Fidelity Investments, but he rose to prominence during his tenure at Google, where he served as chief business officer and senior vice president.

He later joined SoftBank Group as president and chief operating officer, playing a key role in the company’s global investment strategy.

In 2018, Arora became the CEO and chairman of Palo Alto Networks, a cybersecurity company, where he has been instrumental in driving the company’s growth and innovation. Arora is recognized for his strategic vision and ability to scale businesses in the competitive tech landscape.

1. Hock Tan – Broadcom – $161,826,161

The highest-paid CEO is Hock Tan, who has been the president and CEO of Broadcom, a semiconductor and infrastructure software company, and its predecessor company, Avago Technologies, since 2006.

Tan’s management style and vision have been instrumental in driving Broadcom’s growth and profitability, making him a key figure in the global tech industry.

Under his leadership, Broadcom has become a major player in the semiconductor industry, known for its aggressive growth strategy through high-profile acquisitions, including its $19 billion all-cash acquisition of CA Technologies in 2018, its $10.7 billion acquisition of Symantec’s enterprise security business in 2019, and its $61 billion acquisition of VMware in November 2023.

The Bottom Line

The salary of a CEO is influenced by several factors, including company size, industry, financial performance, and market competitiveness.

Other factors, such as the CEO’s experience, leadership skills, and negotiation abilities, also play a significant role.

Additionally, board decisions, shareholder expectations, and regulatory requirements contribute to determining a CEO’s compensation package.

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Linda Rosencrance
Technology journalist
Linda Rosencrance
Technology journalist

Linda Rosencrance is a freelance writer and editor based in the Boston area, with expertise ranging from AI and machine learning to cybersecurity and DevOps. She has been covering IT topics since 1999 as an investigative reporter working for several newspapers in the Boston metro area. Before joining Techopedia in 2022, her articles have appeared in TechTarget, MSDynamicsworld.com, TechBeacon, IoT World Today, Computerworld, CIO magazine, and many other publications. She also writes white papers, case studies, ebooks, and blog posts for many corporate clients, interviewing key players, including CIOs, CISOs, and other C-suite execs.