Who Earns the World’s Biggest Salary?
Have you ever wondered who in the world draws the biggest annual salary?
It is fairly difficult to get a definitive answer to this, as factors such as bonuses and share options can make a big difference year on year. Once we get into the world of sport we also need to look at issues like varying endorsements year on year.
Having said all of that, here are some details I have found on the world’s best salaries over the last few years.
Some people have the Apple CEO and Business Executive down as having the world’s best salary. In 2011 he is said to have got paid $377,996,537, which was largely made up of a stock grant. In 2012 he got a little over $4 million. In 2013 he lost out on an additional $4 million because of the poor performance of the firm’s stock. However, he still took home $1.4 million in salary, $2.8 million in bonuses and $36.4 million in stock options last year. Still quite a nice amount to get paid, really.
David Simon is the CEO and chairman of the Simon Property Group. In 2011 he picked up a very nice $137,166,545. This was made up of a basic annual salary of $1.25 million, bonuses of $4 million and stock awards of $120 million. This huge amount of stock was given as a retention bonus rather than being linked to performance or anything else. This massive payout caused a shareholder lawsuit to be raised against the company in 2012 but I can’t find any details on how that all worked out and what he got paid since then.
You would expect the Executive Chairman of Google to take home a healthy salary, wouldn’t you? Schmidt is ranked in the top 150 richest people in the world, with an estimated personal wealth of over $8 billion. How much does he get paid each year, though? In 2010 he got paid $313,219 as the CEO but in 2011 this shot up to $101 million as he made the switch to his new role. What made the difference? Well, would you believe that those old stock options are at play again? He got $94 million of them as well as a $6 million bonus. In his case, his wealth comes almost entirely from stock options instead of a big salary. In fact, he is among a select band of people who have become billionaires from stock options they have received as an employee rather than in a company they founded.
As the Chief Executive of Oracle, Ellison got a nice wage of $96,160,696 a couple of years back. He is classed as the 3rd richest person in America and the 8th richest in the world yet he only gets a base salary of $1 from what I can tell. Like more of the other people we have seen on the list, his massive fortune ($44 billion) comes almost entirely from – you guessed it – stock options.
What about sportspeople? I must confess that I was surprised to see Tiger Woods top of the list for sports people in 2013. He earned a total of $78 million last year, with $65 million of this coming from endorsements.
The Swiss tennis player is listed as the second highest paid sports person for 2013. He earned $71.5 million, $65 million of which came from endorsements.
The biggest straight salary in sport I can see belongs to footballer Brees, whose salary is listed as $40 million for 2013, with an additional $11 million earned in endorsements. However, when I checked it out further it turned out that $3 million was his annual salary and $37 million his signing on fee.
The moral of this story is that you don’t need a bigger salary. You need stock options or endorsements.