WSJ list of 25 top-paid CEOs of the decade: Oracle’s Ellison #1, Apple’s Jobs #4

iMac Deals - FREE Shipping“Larry Ellison, founder and chief executive of software maker Oracle Corp., topped the list of best-paid executives of public companies during the past decade, receiving $1.84 billion in compensation, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of CEO pay,” Scott Thrum reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“Coming in No. 2 on the compensation list was Barry Diller, who received roughly $1.14 billion from IAC/InterActive and, the online travel site IAC spun off in 2005, where he remains chairman,” Thrum reports. “Following Mr. Diller were Occidental Petroleum Corp. CEO Ray Irani at $857 million, Apple Inc.’s Steve Jobs with $749 million and, in fifth place, Capital One Financial Corp. CEO Richard Fairbank at $569 million.”

“The Journal analysis includes salaries, bonuses, perks and realized gains on both restricted stock and stock options; it excludes new grants of restricted stock and stock options,” Thrum reports. “The analysis didn’t track whether executives sold shares they acquired after they exercised stock options or after previously restricted stock vested.”

MacDailyNews Note: Apple’s Jobs’ performance for shareholders was among the top of the charts. The value of a $100 investment in AAPL stock from the start to the end of the decade was pegged by The Journal at $1,171.

Thrum reports, “Apple’s Mr. Jobs also took a $1 annual salary throughout the decade. But he ranked fourth primarily because of a $647 million gain on restricted stock that was granted in 2003 and vested in 2006. He still holds the shares… Oracle shareholders saw the value of their stock triple, while shareholders of Apple saw their stock soar nearly 12 times over. But shareholders of another tech giant, Dell Inc., lost 66% of the value of their stock during the decade, while CEO Michael Dell, who launched the computer maker in his dorm room in the 1980s, brought home $454 million [#12].”

Full article here.


  1. Jobs is underrated as an executive. Everyone goes on about the Reality Distortion Field, hypnotizing the keynote audience, etc. etc. but the fact is, the guy is a great executive. He realizes that his customers are the people who buy the products, not the shareholders. Too many CEOs forget that.

    Contrast Jobs’s performance with that of another executive we all know and love, Monkey Boy…

  2. For a number of years I’ve been reading Dell (and PC investors) including ‘analysts’ from MSNmoney etc. lauding Dell as a great buy, that Apple is a ‘bubble’ and will collapse soon (year after year the same drivel). So many Dell, Msft. stockholders say they’re happy even as their stocks flat line (“Just wait for the Streak to hit the big time! Apple is Doomed”).

    I’m absolutely astonished Dell stockholders are happy that their stock has gone down 66% while they pay Mikey Dell 454 million (No 12 highest paid!).
    And PC lovers say Apple fans have a ‘reality distortion field’.

  3. I always just laugh at the way they calculate these “compensation” packages.

    If an officer or board member gets a huge stock package with the strike price at market value, then the stock goes down, it is valueless to the person. It’s considered “underwater”. However, the press will still present it as a huge stock “benefit” to the individual. (For example: one million shares at a market value strike price of $100 per share. The stock then drops to $90. The press will still report this as “compensation” of $100 million. Reality is that the stock “purchase” is complelely worthless to the individual.)

    Conversely, if the stock is provided at a market value strike price then goes up, the press will report it ALL as “compensation” to the individual. (Using the same example of one million shares at a value of $100 per share, with the stock going UP to $150 per share… the stupid press will report the “income” of the person as $150 million dollars.)

    Neither is true. If the stock is provided at a strike price of the fair market value then the “compensation” the press should be reported is ZERO. If, as often happens, the strike price is *slightly* below fair market value then the “compensation” is only that small amount times the number of shares. Anything else is the company or market driving the price. It should never be considered “compensation”.

  4. I continue to be shocked at the companies that purchase Oracle software.

    It is a POS on par with windows 95.

    It is pushed by a bunch of IT Professionals who get to charge hundreds of thousands of dollars to install and maintain this incredible bloat ware.

    I guess with 90% of the market purchasing Windows, it makes perfect sense those idiots would follow it up by buying Oracle software.

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