Musk’s salary ranks first among global CEOs for the third consecutive year, with an average daily income of 118 million yuan


QQ music technology news on August 5, “Silicon Valley Iron Man” Elon Musk is the envy of global CEOs. This is not because of his spaceship or tens of millions of fans on twitter, but because of a new title he won three years ago: the highest paid CEO in global history.
In 2020, Musk’s annual salary was USD 6.658 billion, about RMB 43.05 billion, with an average daily income of RMB 118 million.
Looking around today’s American business community, we will find more similar situations. The board of directors tries to inspire CEOs to become great by attacking attractive wealth. Last year, at least 15 CEOs were paid $100 million or more, a threefold increase from three years ago.
Although critics and investors have expressed different opinions, from some indicators, the degree of wealth inequality in the United States has exceeded nearly a century – pushing the business community to the limit of the value of one person’s work relative to others.
“This practice strengthens the great man theory,” said Sarah Anderson, head of the global economy program of the Institute for policy studies, a think-tank“ It’s all about the guy in the corner office. Everyone else is just a helper. ”
Despite the heated debate over the widening gap between the rich and others, this trend continues on the board. Even some CEOs have made narrow statements about how the economy serves everyone. Some critics attribute the rise in pay to a simple conclusion: those involved in decision-making – CEOs, directors, institutional investors and a group of consultants – see astronomical pay levels as a microcosm of American elite rule rather than a symptom of off track capitalism.
According to the data provided by the Bloomberg pay index, musk has earned about $33 billion in book income in the past three years, making him the highest paid CEO in the United States for three consecutive years. He was followed by many male and white corporate CEOs, all of whom were paid more than nine figures. Last year, only five of the top 100 CEOs in the United States were women.
The Bloomberg compensation index is the ranking of the highest paid executives of listed companies that submit compensation data to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The index is based on information disclosed in regulatory documents. These include salaries, performance bonuses and discretionary cash bonuses, changes in executive pensions and deferred compensation, and the taxable value of additional allowances. The value of the company’s shares at the end of the year in which the award is granted, rather than the value of the option at the end of the year.
According to data from ISS corporate solutions, a governance consulting firm, and interviews with compensation consultants and lawyers who help formulate and negotiate compensation plans, the compensation plan provided by Tesla to musk has evoked lingering repercussions at the senior management level.
According to Musk’s salary plan for the next ten years approved by Tesla’s extraordinary general meeting in 2018, musk does not have any salary or bonus, and its income will be linked to Tesla’s market value and operating performance. It can obtain option reward only when Tesla’s market value reaches some milestones.
If he can lead Tesla to achieve many goals, he can obtain about 20.3 million stock options (before stock split). These options will be issued in 12 times. For each target of Tesla’s market value, 1.69 million equity shares (before stock split) will be released. In addition, it is reported that the ultimate goal of the compensation plan 10 years later is that if Tesla’s market value exceeds 650 billion US dollars and its revenue and profit targets reach expectations, Musk will have the option to buy up to 20.3 million shares of the company (worth about $50 billion).
When Tesla shareholders approved Musk’s compensation plan, the company’s market value was about $53 billion. At that time, Tesla faced cash shortages, production delays and increasing competition from competitors. According to Musk’s salary agreement, it means that Tesla’s market value may increase tenfold in 10 years, which seemed incredible at that time.
When the project was first launched, Musk’s salary made some people laugh at its scale and ambition. Even if the company’s market value has increased more than tenfold, can Tesla’s board really resist the pressure to pay tens of billions of dollars to musk? Most investors think so.
More than two-thirds of Tesla investors supported the compensation plan in a non binding vote. Some of them believe that if musk succeeds, investors will also get huge returns. In this case, musk got his tens of billions of dollars. What does it matter?
Corporate executives across the United States are paying attention to this attractive scheme. Compared with the bonus of hundreds of millions or even 1 billion or 2 billion dollars, the ordinary annual salary of $20 million is nothing at all. A consultant who worked with the board of directors of some large American companies and asked to discuss confidential deliberations anonymously described how some executives and directors refined Tesla’s investor votes: “the point of Musk’s compensation plan is that if the performance requirements are high enough, how much we pay is not important.”
Ordinary workers are almost never part of this equation. According to the data compiled by Bloomberg, in 2020, the median salary ratio of CEOs of S & P 500 index companies and their typical employees rose to 182, rising for the third consecutive year. Some companies pay thousands of times more than others. It is not new for chief executives to receive ten figure salaries.
Ten years before the outbreak of the financial crisis in 2008, stock options were all the rage. Roberto Goizueta of Coca Cola became one of the first CEOs to accumulate $1 billion in wealth through salary alone.

The difference now lies in the structure and rationality of compensation. After the financial crisis, institutional investors pushed the board to link a greater part of executive compensation to the company’s long-term performance. A group of consultants soon began to design complex packages, which usually pay the CEO mainly in shares based on a series of goals (such as stock price or profit).
Years of low interest rates and a booming stock market have made it a winning model for CEOs, widening the gap with the wage rather than stock workforce. At the same time, the slogan of “pay for performance” makes the ultra-high salary scheme more resistant to criticism, said Carol Bowie, former head of the American Research Department of institutional shareholder services, an acting consultant“ There’s a veneer in it. It’s earned by itself, “she said.
Huge salary will affect the whole industry. This is because listed companies must specify the remuneration of their CEO in public documents. Transparency is to control luxury, but it also makes it easy for executives to see how much competitors get and seek more. Michael Sirkin, US chairman of Jamieson corporate finance, a consulting firm, said: “I never blame executives and ask them if they really believe it is reasonable.” For decades, he has been negotiating compensation on behalf of the CEO“ Whether to agree or not shall be decided by the board of directors. ”
Last year, the board of directors of paycom, a human resources software company, provided Chad richson, founder and CEO, with a compensation plan that could obtain a 2.7% stake in the company. If the company’s share price rises more than fourfold over the next decade, richson’s equity value will reach $2.8 billion. Restoration hardware, a manufacturer of high-end home furniture, said that if the share price doubled, it would provide $290 million worth of shares to Gary Friedman, chief executive. Just a few weeks ago, JPMorgan’s board of directors granted CEO Jamie Dimon a $50 million stock option award to stay in office for five years. The three companies said in their submissions that these awards were designed to retain and motivate these executives. Before the introduction of these plans, all three were billionaires.
Of course, there is no guarantee that the bet will be rewarded, whether in part or in whole. Huge compensation schemes usually have carefully designed performance thresholds and promise that if things don’t go well, executives will not get comfort awards. But last year, novel coronavirus pneumonia was reported to have loosened its target or released hundreds of millions of dollars in special awards to executives as the new crown pandemic hit the global economy.
“Companies may or may not stick to their commitments,” said aeisha mastagni, portfolio manager of Laojin, a California teacher who manages $309 billion in assets. The pension fund voted against many large compensation schemes, including musk, often pointing to less stringent performance targets.
Top ten highest paid CEOs in the United States in 2020:
First: Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, with a salary of $6.658 billion.
Second: Mike pykosz, CEO of Oak Street health, a healthcare company, was paid $568 million.
Third: Trevor Bezdek, CO CEO of goodrx holdings, a pharmaceutical mobile phone application company, with a salary of $498 million.
Fourth: Douglas Hirsch, CO CEO of goodrx holdings, a pharmaceutical mobile phone application company, received a salary of $498 million.
Fifth: Eric Wu, CEO of opendoor technologies, an online property trading platform, received a salary of $389 million.
Sixth: Alex Karp, CEO of Palantir, with a salary of $370 million.
Seventh: Geoffrey price, CEO of Oak Street health, paid $356 million.
Eighth: Tim Cook, CEO of apple, received a salary of $265 million.
Ninth: Griffin Myers, chief marketing officer of Oak Street health, with a salary of $221 million.
Tenth: Chad richson, CEO of paycom, with a salary of $220 million( Tencent Technology (compiled / Mowgli)