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10 Highest Paid CEOs in the World in 2019

Ty Haqqi

With combined annual earnings of over three billion dollars, the 10 highest paid CEOs in the world in 2019 prove that disparity of income is not just a myth, it’s the stark reality facing us today, though the total has been significantly skewed by the one man, who we will reveal later. While we’ve been fed the narrative that only hard work and our will to make something out of ourselves matters, data has shown time and time again that this is not true. The one factor which counts most of all and which has the greatest impact is where we are born. This is one of the reasons why most of the entries in this list are of American CEOs. It might be enlightening, and also frightening of course, for you to learn that the top 1% in the United States have more income than the bottom 90% combined. If that isn’t a sobering thought, well then I don’t know what is.

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One thing is for sure, it definitely pays to be a CEO. However, you might be surprised to find that major names who are CEOs of some of the biggest companies in the world, such as Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page are not features on this list, mainly because they don’t really take a high salary from their company, instead preferring stock options. In fact, Larry Page and Steve Jobs are famous for having had just an official $1 annual salary!

So who is the highest paid person in the world 2019? Well you’ll have to check out our list to find out. The highest paid CEO 2019 has even outearned the other 9 put together! However, if you want to learn about the highest paid CEO in India alone, then that title would go to Mukesh Ambani, owner and CEO of Reliance Industries, who is perhaps more famous for throwing ostentatiously extravagant weddings and building the most expensive home in the entire world. In fact, he is also the richest man in all of Asia, with a net worth of 59.4 billion USD. However, our list consists exclusively of CEOs of US companies. We looked at some of the biggest companies globally and yet the compensations afforded to their CEOs did not compare to the earnings of US CEOs.

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To determine our ranking, we used the data compiled by Equilar, which analyzes pay packages provided to CEOs of public companies with a revenue exceeding at least $1 billion. You might be surprised to find some names you probably haven’t heard of, but I can guarantee that you know the person who tops the list 10 highest paid CEOs in the world in 2019. Also, if you want to compare this list with previous ones, you can also visit 17 highest paid CEOs in the world in 2017. So let’s commence with our list, starting from number 10:

10. Vivek Shah

Annual earnings: $45,062,153

Vivek Shah is the CEO of j2 Global (NASDAQ: JCOM). He became the CEO at the start of 2018 and his tenure is still continuing. J2 Global (NASDAQ: JCOM) acquired Ziff Davis in 2012, of which Vivek was the CEO as well.

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9. Fabrizio Freda

Annual earnings: $48,164,302

One of the few non-Americans on this list, Fabrizio Freda is a well-known Italian business executive and the CEO of Estée Lauder (NYSE: EL). He obtained this position in 2009 and has done very well since in the company which is famous for its prestige fragrance, hair and make-up products. The company’s brand portfolio is quite diverse and has both a digital presence as well as supplying its products through retail.

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8. James Heppelman

Annual earnings: $49,969,163

James Heppelman is considered one of the most innovative and dynamic CEOs in the tech industry, and currently leads PTC Inc. (NASDAQ: PTC). He has earned several accolades throughout his distinguished career and his excellent communication skills have seen him deliver several keynote speeches as well.

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7. Robert A. Iger

Annual earnings: $65,645,214

Robert A. Iger is the CEO of one of the most famous and recognizable companies in the world in Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS). If you’ve seen a meme about how Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS) intends to buy up everything, Robert Iger is the driving force behind it. He achieved the CEO position in 2005, and ever since then, has been the driving force behind Disney purchasing other famous brands, such as Pixar, Lucas Films and even Marvel Entertainment.

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Pixabay/Public Domain

6. John J. Legere

Annual earnings: $66,538,206

Slightly edging out Robert Iger in the 10 highest paid CEOs in the world in 2019 is John J. Legere, CEO of T-Mobile US (NASDAQ: TMUS). As is a common theme across this article, these men are running companies which are by far on the top of their field, with T-Mobile being the third largest wireless network carrier in the United States.

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5. Safra A. Catz

Annual earnings: $108,282,333

The only woman on this list, which is no mean feat in a male dominated world, Safra A. Catz is the CEO of Oracle (NYSE: ORCL). She attained this position in 2014 and in the past 5 years, has greatly enhanced the multination computer technology company. While she did suffer significant drops in her income in previous years, she has remained the highest paid female CEO in the United States.

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Oracle, ORCL

4. Mark V. Hurd (Deceased)

Annual earnings: $108,295,023

Yes, Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) has two CEOs and both of them make the top 5 of this list, which is an astonishing feat. Managing the sale, service and marketing side of the company, Hurd claims that under his leadership, Oracle’s cloud business grew 82% within a year.

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Oracle Corporation

3. Nikesh Arora

Annual earnings: $125,068,836

Nikesh Arora is the CEO of Paolo Alto Network (NYSE: PANW) which is an American multinational cybersecurity company, providing advanced firewalls. Nikesh Arora got the top position in June 2018, having previously worked with various companies such as Google, Softbank Group and T-Mobile.

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[Shutterstock: 380107090, scyther5]

2. David M. Zaslav

Annual earnings: $129,499,005

David Zaslav, the CEO of Discovery (NASDAQ: DISCA), a mass media company, recently had his company acquire Scripps Network Interactive Inc., which together make up over 20% of the ad supported pay-TV viewership in the United States.

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Discovery Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:DISCA)

1. Elon Musk

Annual earnings: $2,284,044,884

You knew that Elon Musk would top the list of the 10 highest paid CEOs in the world in 2019. Whether you love him or hate him, and there’s no in-between, the Internet’s messiah has just earned 2.2 billion dollars in the previous year, a figure any other CEO would kill to have. He is the CEO of Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), an automotive and energy company focused on developing high performance, fuel efficient cars. In 2018, Tesla ranked as the best selling plug-in cars manufacturer, and there is no doubting that Musk’s vision will take them even further, despite the numerous public problems they have been facing.

[caption id="attachment_350294" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Bocman1973 / Shutterstock.com[/caption] Disclosure: None. Highest Paid CEOs in the world in 2019 is originally published at Insider Monkey.

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