America’s highest-paid CEOs: Elon Musk, Rivian boss Robert Scaringe, Apple CEO Tim Cook top the list

Tesla CEO Elon Musk made more than $10 billion in 2021 – meaning the world’s richest man is also the highest paid CEO on the planet.

Musk had topped the list for the fourth year in a row. Much of his pay packet is made up from various stock options, which have added $78 billion to his personal wealth, believed to be around $269 billion.

Musks payout is so vast that out of the top 14 CEO’s as listed by Bloomberg, the remaining 13 CEOs in the list following the Tesla chief total’s $6.3 billion – or just over half of what he makes.

Robert Scaringe, CEO of Rivian Automotive was way behind Musk but still with an enormous paycheck of $2.3 billion last year.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, who heads the most valuable and cash-rich company in the world, pulled in $853 million in 2021, while Peter Rawlinson CEO/CTO of California-based Lucid Motors earned $575 million.

Elon Musk was the highest paid CEO last year with more than $10 billion in earnings

Next highest paid chief executive was Robert Scaringe, CEO of Rivian Automotive, who made about five times less than Musk with $2.3 billion

Next highest paid chief executive was Robert Scaringe, CEO of Rivian Automotive, who made about five times less than Musk with $2.3 billion

Nine-figure compensation packages were once rare but they appear to be on the increase.

The packages are often made up from salary, bonuses, stock awards, stock option awards, deferred compensation and other components that include benefits and perks.

For some companies, big raises can occur when CEOs get a stock grant in one year as part of a multi-year grant.

Apple's Tim Cook came in third place with $853 million in compensation

Apple’s Tim Cook came in third place with $853 million in compensation

Peter Rawlinson CEO/CTO of California-based Lucid Motors earned $575 million

Tom Siebel CEO of software company C3.ai banked $343 million

Peter Rawlinson CEO/CTO of California-based Lucid Motors earned $575 million, left. Tom Siebel CEO of software company C3.ai banked $343 million, right

The highest placed female CEO, Sue Nabi of global beauty company Coty, made $283m

The highest placed female CEO, Sue Nabi of global beauty company Coty, made $283m

In fifth place Tom Siebel CEO of software company C3.ai banked $343 million, while the highest placed female CEO, Sue Nabi of global beauty company Coty, made $283 million.

In 2023, once she has collected all the shares included in her package, she will own about 3% of the company.

‘Nabi is one of the beauty industry’s leading founder talents: a hugely respected business leader with an outstanding track record,’ the company said in a statement. ‘In order to attract a true entrepreneur like her, Coty needed to have an enticing equity scheme.’

From seventh place onwards, the numbers get a little closer together.

Joe Bae CEO of KKR private equity made $279 million in 2021 while Tomer Weingarten the CEO of cybersecurity firm SentinelOne earned $275 million, placing him eighth in the list.

At ninth, Alex Karp CEO of Palantir Technologies made $264 million while Sid Sijbrandij, the CEO of GitLab, both software companies rounded out the top ten with earnings of $263 million.

Alex Karp CEO of Palantir Technologies, left, made $264m

Sid Sijbrandij, the CEO of GitLab, both software companies rounded out the top ten with earnings of $263 million

At ninth, Alex Karp CEO of Palantir Technologies, left, made $264m while Sid Sijbrandij, the CEO of GitLab, both software companies rounded out the top ten with earnings of $263 million

The top ten CEO’s sees a total compensation payout of more than $15 billion. More than 30 executives of public companies secured pay deals in excess of $100 million according to the Bloomberg Pay Index.

The value maybe less when the list for 2022 is compiled with the stock market taking a tumble during the first half of this year, interest rates rising and inflation soaring – all of which have a direct consequence on the pay packets of of such highly paid personnel .

Nevertheless, while the markets can ebb and flow, in general the pay of CEO’s continues to rise.

Chief executive officers are typically the highest paid employees in any business – sometimes making more than 1,000 times what an average employee earns.

‘It’s another version of ‘more for them and less for us, and it comes at a time when working people’s living standards have declined with every increase in the price of food, rent and gas,’ said Fred Redmond, secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.

The AFL-CIO’s annual survey of executive pay described such exorbitant payout as ‘greedflation’ noting how the average salary for a S&P 500 CEO rose 18% in the past fiscal year to $18.3 million – some 324 times a typical worker at the same companies.

Highest paid CEOs and Executives in 2021

Rank Name Company Total

1 Elon Musk Tesla $10,077,116,351

2 Robert Scaringe Rivian $2,289,370,481

3 Tim Cook Apple $853,780,236

4 Peter Rawlinson Lucid $575,681,738

5 Tom Siebel C3.ai $343,925,146

6 Sue Nabi Coty $283,791,455

7 Joe Bae KKR $279,100,653

8 Tomer Weingarten SentinelOne $275,775,959

9 Alex Karp Palantir $264,229,473

10 Sid Sijbrandij GitLab $263,703,427

11 Alex Rodrigues Embark $252,467,967

12 Scott Nuttall KKR $233,349,930

13 Brian Armstrong Coinbase $218,090,453

14 Jimmy Levin Sculptor Capital $200,053,339

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