A list of the 100 highest paid chief executive officers in the United States was released on Wednesday by the corporate data firm Equilar. It revealed that median total compensation for CEOS among the 100 companies with revenues of at least $1 billion was up 7.7 percent over 2021 to $22.3 million last year, but a much slower growth than 2020 when CEO earnings rose by 30.8 percent.
Observed at the midpoint of the financial proxy season when companies typically hold their annual meetings and performance reviews, the Equilar 100 list named Peloton Interactive’s Barry McCarthy, projected to pocket $168 million from the Lululemon provocateur, at No. 1, outpacing runner-up Apple’s Tim Cook, who for the second straight year comes in at No. 2 with $99.4 million.
David Simon of the Simon Property Group, which owns 95 shopping malls and 199 properties in 37 U.S. states, landed at No. 13 with $35.6 million in projected earnings, after missing the list entirely in 2021. Simon’s pay increased by 240 percent year-over-year and grew from a base pay figure of $1.25 million with bonuses north of $28 million.
Nike CEO John J. Donahoe II came in at No. 28 with $28.6 million, down 12 percent from 2021 when he soared to No. 10 on the list with $32.9 million.
Sealy’s Scott L. Thompson came in at No. 80 with $19.6 million, and Carol B. Tome of delivery giant UPS came in at No. 90, bringing in $18.9 million after she was 15th in 2021 at better than $27 million.
Hamid R. Moghadam of logistics real estate giant Prologis saw total comp last year of more than $48 million, a 93 percent year-on-year bump.
At a rosier-than-expected second-quarter earnings call last November, Simon explained why he remained bullish on malls heading into 2023.
“Many have tried to kill off physical retail real estate, and in particular in closed malls,” Simon said. “Naysayers said physical retail was gone forever. However, brick-and-mortar is strong, brick-and-mortar retailer is strong, and e-commerce is flatlining.”
CEO pay growth once again outpaced that of the average rank-and-file worker. “[W]ith CEO compensation continuing its upward climb, the ratio will continue to be scrutinized in the public eye,” wrote Equilar senior director of content Amit Batish.