How Much Do CEO’s Really Make?

This Tuesday GMI Ratings released their first annual report listing the salaries of the top 10 CEO’s in the USA.

The general assumption is that CEO’s always bring home the big bucks, and they aren’t wrong. The lowest salary brought home by these chief executives was $100 million and collectively all 10 received almost $5 billion.

The highest paid of the bunch was none other than Mark Zuckerberg CEO and creator of the well-known social networking website, Facebook. Zuckerberg made a total of $2.3 billion in 2012 largely thanks to Facebook’s IPO.

Other CEO’s experienced similar circumstances and according to the GMI report, “the primary trend throughout the survey is that large pay increases in 2012 were mainly fueled by the exercise of large blocks of stock options and the vesting of outsized restricted stock grants.”

In second place was Richard Kinder who is the chief executive at the energy company, Kinder Morgan. He earned $1.1 billion in 2012 according to the same survey.

In third place was CEO of Sirius XM, an American radio broadcasting network, raking in $255 million.

GMI Ratings collected data from over 2,000 CEO’s across the United States and found that compensation for chief executives increased 8.5% from 2011 till 2012. Although this may seem like a high percentage, it has actually dropped from double digit figures in previous years.

The report revealed that while payments towards the top of the work chain increased, lower down remained relatively unchanged. This is supported by a report by the US Census which claims that household income during 2011 is virtually the same as in 2012.

The wealth gap has continuously widened since the late 70’s. According to a study by the Economic Policy Institute, CEO reimbursements increased over 700% from 1978 till 2011 and during this same time frame the compensation of an average employee increased less than 6%.

The GMI report also describes the average pay package of a S&P 500 chief executive officer was around $14 million.

The complete list of the highest paid CEO’s in addition to their total earnings in 2012 according to the GMI report is as follows:

1. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook — $2,278,668,214

2. Richard Kinder, Kinder Morgan Inc.– $1,116,685,089

3. Mel Karmazin, Sirius XM Radio — $255,355,676

4. Greg Maffei, Liberty Media Corp. — $254,890,638

5. Tim Cook, Apple — $143,828,867

6. Edward Stack, Dick’s Sporting Goods — $142,052,496

7. Greg Maffei, Liberty Interactive– $136,450,484

8. Howard Schultz, Starbucks– $117,562,601

9. Marc Benioff,– $109,544,875

10. Frank Coyne, Verisk Analytics — $100,432,117