Zuckerberg Made $6 Million a Day in 2012

Image: Zuckerberg Made $6 Million a Day in 2012

Thursday, 24 Oct 2013 01:02 PM

By Courtney Coren

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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg earned more than $6 million every day last year, making him the highest paid chief executive in North America.

The 29-year-old dentist's son made most of his $2.28 billion from his company's IPO, according to GMI Ratings annual list of executive compensation.  His base salary was "only" $503,205, The Guardian reported.

Zuckerberg's total package was more than double the next boss on the list. Richard Kinder, 69, of energy giant Kinder Morgan made $1.12 billion. Kinder's base salary is $1 but he earned his compensation by selling $1.1 billion in restricted stock.

Special: How to make your first million!

It was the first year that more than one person had made over a billion, and also the first that all the Top Ten List of Highest Paid CEOs made more than $100 million. The survey is now in its 11th year.

"I have never seen anything like that," said Greg Ruel, GMI's senior research consultant and author of the report. "Usually we have a few CEOs at the $100 million plus level but never the entire top 10.

"While the companies in this year’s list have performed well over the past three and five year periods in terms of shareholder return, generally speaking, it’s the sheer size and volume of equity awards granted to these top executives that catapults their total compensation to astronomical levels."

Zuckerberg and Kinder were well ahead of third and fourth placed Mel Karmazin of Sirius Radio and Gregory Maffei of Liberty Media who both earned around $255 million for the year. However Maffei also appeared in the 7th spot taking another $136 million for his role with Liberty Interactive.

The Guardian noted that from 2009 to 2012, income for the top 1 percent increased 31.4 percent compared to the bottom 99 percent that grew only 0.4 percent. The median CEO salaries increased 8.47 percent, while the median pay for CEOs of S&P 500 companies went up 19.65 percent.

The salaries soared in 2012 by the top earners by taking advantage of the reviving stock market and cashing in on share options.

"A short-term bullish market allows executives to reap large rewards, stemming from equity grants that number in the hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of units per grant," Ruel said.

Special: How to make your first million!

"Rather than a focus on industry and sector-specific metrics that drive growth and shareholder value, compensation committees continue to grant large blocks of equity that will reward any increase in stock price, even as competitors experience the same share increase," he added.

Others on the list were Tim Cook of Apple with $144 million; Edward Stack of Dick's Sporting Goods with $142 million; Howard Schultz of Starbucks with $118 million; Marc Benioff of Salesforce.com with $110 million and Frank Coyne of Verisk Analytics with $100 million.

Related Stories:

Mark Zuckerberg House-Buying Spree Prevents Too-Close Onlookers
CEO Salaries Climb as Companies Fight Pay-Scale Disclosure Law

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