CEO Pay: The $25 Million Plus Pay Club

by | May 1, 2024

Executive compensation at big US public companies remains a hot topic and some companies are starting to feel the heat from shareholders. With almost 3,600 DEF 14A proxy statements filed through the year so far, we wanted to take a look at CEO pay at the biggest companies. Of the big companies that have filed, there are 62 companies with CEOs in the “$25 Million Plus Pay Club.” Among the club members, there are undoubtedly some companies with a great track record under the CEO’s stewardship, but a number have clearly underperformed relative to peers (the Boardroom Alpha rating is one way to see this).

For the underperformers, we’d like to see shareholders hold the boards accountable by voting directly against the directors. In our view, the non-binding Say-on-Pay vote is a nice signal, but won’t make the company’s stewards really feel it. But, if directors suddenly see shareholders holding them accountable, they will start to feel the pain and, hopefully, start steering the ship in a new direction.

$25 Million Plus Pay Club Highlights

  • Both Netflix (NFLX) and Lennar (LEN) have Co-CEOs so, you’ll see those companies listed twice below and shareholders will feel double the pain when they see the amount of CEO pay.
  • AMC Entertainment (AMC) continues to pay CEO Adam Aron a hefty $25.4 million compensation package despite the stock dropping an annualized -34.7% over his tenure.  At the 2023 shareholder meeting, shareholders made their opinion clear with only 48% supporting the advisory vote on executive compensation. We wonder why, given performance, even 48% supported it.
  • TPG Inc (TPG) and Carlyle Group (CG) top the list, each with pay packages approaching $200 million. In each case, base salary is less than 0.5% of the package with stock being the primary reward.
  • New Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) CEO Timothy Cofer took over just this week (April 26th to be exact) and will have an annual base salary of be $1.25M, with a STIP target at 150% of his base salary and an annual award target value under LTIP of $4.0M. Much of his 2023 pay comes from KDP compensating him for forgone incentive compensation from Central Garden & Pet Company (CENT) when he came over initially as COO.
  • Gary Dickerson, CEO of Applied Materials (AMAT) has one of the most impressive runs as CEO. He’s got the stock price up over 1,420% (29% annualized) since he took the helm in 2013 and the stock seems set to continue its strong recent run.
  • The “$25 Million Plus Club” use 13 different compensation consultants to help set pay, but just 5 — Frederic W. Cook, Semler Brossy, Compensia, Aon, and Pay Governance — account for nearly 70% of the plans.

Catch up on the latest Activism and Governance research from Boardroom Alpha:

The List of “$25 Million Plus Pay Club” CEOs

Ticker Company CEO CEO TSR (annualized) CEO Pay:
2023
CEO Pay:
% Salary
Tenure CEO Rating Compensation Consultant Proxy Filing
TPG TPG INC Jon Winkelried 14.2% $198.7M 0.3% 2.3 B+ Korn Ferry, Semler Brossy View
CG CARLYLE GROUP INC Harvey M Schwartz 26.0% $187.0M 0.4% 1.2 B- Pay Governance View
AVGO BROADCOM INC Hock E Tan 37.6% $161.8M 0.7% 18.2 A+ Meridian View
CHTR CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS INC Christopher L Winfrey -25.7% $89.1M 1.9% 1.4 C- Semler Brossy View
APP APPLOVIN CORP Arash Adam Foroughi 2.6% $83.4M 0.5% 12.4 B+ Aon, Deloitte Consulting, Mercer, Semler Brossy View
AAPL APPLE INC Timothy D Cook 23.8% $63.2M 4.7% 12.7 A Pay Governance View
NFLX NETFLIX INC Theodore A Sarandos 1.2% $49.8M 6.0% 3.8 B+ Compensia View
WBD WARNER BROS DISCOVERY INC David Zaslav 0.0% $49.7M 6.0% 17.3 C- Pay Governance View
PLTK PLAYTIKA HOLDING CORP Robert Antokol -36.1% $49.0M 0.0% 4.6 C- Pearl Meyer & Partners View
BKNG BOOKING HOLDINGS INC Glenn D Fogel 12.3% $46.7M 1.6% 7.3 B Semler Brossy View
ADBE ADOBE INC Shantanu Narayen 15.6% $44.9M 3.3% 16.4 A Compensia View
LBTYA LIBERTY GLOBAL LTD Michael T Fries 2.2% $44.6M 5.8% 18.9 C- Deloitte Consulting, Pearl Meyer & Partners View
PYPL PAYPAL HOLDINGS INC James Alexander Chriss 18.5% $41.9M 0.7% 0.6 C- Compensia View
INFA INFORMATICA INC Amit Walia 2.7% $41.4M 1.7% 4.3 A- Aon, Compensia View
ROP ROPER TECHNOLOGIES INC Laurence Neil Hunn 10.7% $41.3M 2.4% 5.7 B- Compensia View
NFLX NETFLIX INC Gregory K Peters 54.4% $40.1M 7.2% 1.3 A Compensia View
NOW SERVICENOW INC William R McDermott 24.6% $37.6M 3.5% 4.5 B Compensia, Frederic W. Cook View
TMUS T-MOBILE US INC G Michael Sievert 17.7% $37.5M 4.7% 4.1 B Mercer View
AXP AMERICAN EXPRESS CO Stephen J Squeri 16.2% $35.7M 4.2% 6.3 A- Semler Brossy View
CMCSA COMCAST CORP Brian L Roberts 8.7% $35.5M 7.0% 21.5 C+ Korn Ferry View
RJF RAYMOND JAMES FINANCIAL INC Paul C Reilly 15.2% $34.9M 2.1% 14.0 A Pay Governance View
LEN LENNAR CORP Stuart A Miller 26.9% $34.3M 2.9% 0.7 B Frederic W. Cook View
DAL DELTA AIR LINES INC Edward H Bastian 3.5% $34.2M 2.8% 8.0 C- Frederic W. Cook View
PEP PEPSICO INC Ramon Laguarta 12.3% $33.9M 5.0% 5.6 B Frederic W. Cook View
BA BOEING CO David L Calhoun -6.2% $32.8M 4.3% 3.3 C- Frederic W. Cook, Pay Governance View
TTD TRADE DESK INC Jeffrey Terry Green 54.6% $32.0M 3.1% 14.5 A Compensia View
DIS WALT DISNEY CO Robert A Iger 9.4% $31.6M 2.7% 1.5 B- Pay Governance View
ARES ARES MANAGEMENT CORP Michael J Arougheti 40.0% $30.6M 6.3 B+ Korn Ferry View
USFD US FOODS HOLDING CORP David E Flitman 29.7% $29.9M 4.3% 1.3 A- Meridian View
CSGP COSTAR GROUP INC Andrew C Florance 19.5% $29.2M 3.4% 37.3 A Aon, Mercer, Willis Towers Watson View
LEN LENNAR CORP Jonathan M Jaffe 25.3% $29.1M 2.7% 3.5 A+ Frederic W. Cook View
QSR RESTAURANT BRANDS INTERNATIONAL INC Joshua Kobza 19.8% $29.0M 3.1% 1.2 B- Frederic W. Cook View
ALGN ALIGN TECHNOLOGY INC Joseph M Hogan 18.6% $29.0M 4.7% 8.9 A- Aon, Compensia View
FWONA LIBERTY MEDIA CORP Greg Maffei 7.5% $28.7M 5.7% 17.0 B- Mercer View
COF CAPITAL ONE FINANCIAL CORP Richard D Fairbank 9.4% $28.6M 29.8 B- Frederic W. Cook View
BAC BANK OF AMERICA CORP Brian T Moynihan 7.8% $28.6M 5.3% 14.3 C Farient Advisors View
JNJ JOHNSON & JOHNSON Joaquin Duato -4.5% $28.4M 5.6% 2.3 C Semler Brossy View
AMP AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL INC James M Cracchiolo 16.4% $28.4M 4.4% 18.6 A Semler Brossy View
CHRW C H ROBINSON WORLDWIDE INC David P Bozeman -21.6% $28.0M 1.8% 0.9 D Semler Brossy View
FI FISERV INC Frank Bisignano 12.1% $27.9M 5.0% 3.8 C Pay Governance View
GM GENERAL MOTORS CO Mary T Barra 3.9% $27.8M 7.5% 10.3 C- Frederic W. Cook, Semler Brossy View
CB CHUBB LTD Evan G Greenberg 11.4% $27.7M 5.6% 20.0 B- Farient Advisors, Mercer, Pay Governance, Willis Towers Watson View
BLK BLACKROCK INC Laurence Fink 19.9% $26.9M 5.6% 26.3 A Aon, Semler Brossy View
AMAT APPLIED MATERIALS INC Gary E Dickerson 29.1% $26.9M 3.8% 10.7 A+ Semler Brossy View
GS GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC David M Solomon 14.8% $26.7M 7.5% 5.6 B+ Frederic W. Cook View
HLT HILTON WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS INC Christopher J Nassetta 15.8% $26.6M 4.9% 16.4 B Exequity View
CVX CHEVRON CORP Michael K Wirth 8.7% $26.5M 6.9% 6.3 C- Meridian View
F FORD MOTOR CO James D Farley 23.3% $26.5M 6.4% 3.6 A+ Semler Brossy View
FE FIRSTENERGY CORP Brian X Tierney 6.6% $26.5M 3.3% 0.9 C+ Farient Advisors View
T AT&T INC John T Stankey -1.0% $26.5M 9.1% 3.8 C- Frederic W. Cook View
ZG ZILLOW GROUP INC Richard N Barton 3.5% $26.4M 2.9% 5.2 C+ Aon, Compensia View
CLF CLEVELAND-CLIFFS INC Lourenco Goncalves 0.7% $26.2M 8.1% 9.7 B- Pearl Meyer & Partners View
JEF JEFFERIES FINANCIAL GROUP INC Richard B Handler 7.8% $26.1M 3.8% 11.2 C Pearl Meyer & Partners View
WFC WELLS FARGO & COMPANY Charles W Scharf 6.5% $26.0M 9.6% 4.5 C+ Meridian View
KDP KEURIG DR PEPPER INC Timothy P Cofer -0.1% $25.9M 0.7% 0.0 UN Deloitte Consulting, Frederic W. Cook View
HUBS HUBSPOT INC Yamini Rangan -4.7% $25.9M 0.0% 2.7 C Compensia View
CAT CATERPILLAR INC Donald J Umpleby III 21.9% $25.8M 6.8% 7.3 A Aon, Meridian View
MA MASTERCARD INC Michael Miebach 8.6% $25.7M 4.8% 3.3 C Frederic W. Cook View
TEVA TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES LTD Richard D Francis 34.1% $25.7M 6.2% 1.3 B+ Meridian, Semler Brossy View
ABBV ABBVIE INC Richard A Gonzalez 19.3% $25.7M 6.6% 11.3 A Semler Brossy View
ADI ANALOG DEVICES INC Vincent Roche 16.9% $25.5M 4.4% 11.1 C- Pearl Meyer & Partners View
PM PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL INC Jacek Olczak 5.3% $25.5M 6.5% 3.0 A- Frederic W. Cook View
C CITIGROUP INC Jane Nind Fraser 5.2% $25.5M 5.9% 3.3 C- Frederic W. Cook View
AMC AMC ENTERTAINMENT HOLDINGS INC Adam M Aron -35.0% $25.4M 5.9% 8.3 D Aon View

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