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CEO paychecks: Winners and losers

Ann Bednarz | June 17, 2013
Our analysis of 49 tech CEO pay packages shows Apple's Tim Cook taking the biggest hit, Michael Dell getting one of the biggest bumps.

The biggest pay swing went to Apple CEO Tim Cook, whose pay was valued at a whopping $378 million in 2011 and comparatively trivial $4.2 million in 2012. Apple granted Cook a $376 million "promotion and retention award" in 2011, but there was no such stock award last year.

Among those who made gains, 11 tech CEOs got raises of 20% or more, including Michael Dell, who saw his compensation nearly quadrupled to $16.1 million in 2012, up from $4.3 million in 2011. Dell's pay package included stock and option awards valued at $11.8 million, a $986,601 salary and $3.3 million bonus. A year earlier, Dell's CEO didn't receive any equity awards.

A big increase in equity awards also lifted compensation for Aruba Networks CEO Dominic Orr, who earned $8.9 million in 2012 compared to $933,429 in 2011.

Thorsten Heins, who was promoted to BlackBerry CEO last year, netted a five-fold pay increase in 2012. His $10.2 million compensation package (up from $1.9 million in 2011) included a $670,222 salary and equity awards valued at $9.5 million.

While nothing can compare to Cook's spectacular pay cut, other tech CEOs also experienced multi-million dollar declines.

Motorola Solutions CEO Greg Brown saw his package decline 65% to $10.3 million in 2012 from $29.3 million in the prior year. In his first full year as AMD CEO, Rory Read saw his compensation halved to $7.3 million, down from $15.6 million in 2011. At Verizon, total compensation for CEO Lowell McAdam was slashed by 39% to $14 million in 2012, down from $23.1 million a year earlier.

Cash Counts
Cash compensation represents a fraction of CEO pay. Across all industries, the median base salary for CEOs was $1.15 million, which is up just 1.3% compared to 2011, according to The Wall Street Journal/Hay Group 2012 CEO Compensation Study. Annual incentive payments (performance-based cash bonuses) were flat at $2.1 million. Taken together, overall median cash compensation was flat at $3.2 million, concludes the Hay Group study.

Specific to tech, Network World observed smaller cash payouts. Among the 49 packages examined, the median salary was $932,615 and the median bonus amount was $1.5 million.

As mentioned, Comcast's Roberts landed the biggest salary ($2.8 million) and largest cash bonus ($9 million) among the tech CEOs studied.

After Roberts, the top cash bonus recipients were: John Coyne, former CEO of Western Digital ($6.8 million); Glenn Britt, CEO of Time Warner Cable ($6.6 million); Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T ($6.1 million); William Brown, CEO of Harris ($5.3 million); and Paul Otellini, former Intel CEO ($5.2 million).

Six tech CEOs didn't receive any cash bonus: Google's Page, Amazon's Bezos, Aruba's Orr, Extreme's Rodriquez, BlackBerry's Heins and Avaya's Kennedy.

 

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