Running a company comes with a significant amount of responsibility, but many CEOs enjoy salaries and perks that more than compensate them for the added stress. Along with the corner offices and high salaries, CEO compensation often includes numerous rewards ranging from private jet access to handsome retirement packages.
While the gulf between CEO pay and average worker salary has shrunk in the past 16 years, executive compensation standards remain off the charts for some U.S. execs.
Prepare for a shock as you click through to see the top job perks currently enjoyed by these company leaders.
Sandeep Mathrani, General Growth Properties
Annual Salary: $12.7 million
Publicly traded real estate investment trust General Growth Properties appears truly to value the contributions of CEO Sandeep Mathrani. The Chicago-based mall owner gave Mathrani $12.7 million in 2016, which sounds high, but is still more than three times less than the $39.2 million he was paid in 2015.
There's a good explanation for the major salary decrease. In 2015, Mathrani received a one-time, $25 million stock award that's part of a five-year employment contract he signed that year. He won't receive his money until at least 2020, but until then he definitely has something to look forward to.
Mathrani's 2016 executive pay package included a $1.2 million salary, $4.3 million in stock awards, $4.3 million in option awards, $3 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation and $48,988 in other compensation.
Regular workers sometimes get perks, too. See the best retirement plans from Google, Apple and other major companies.
Heather Bresch, Mylan N.V.
Annual Salary: $13.8 million
After Mylan purchased EpiPen from Merck KGaA in 2007, the company raised the price of a two-pack by 500 percent. The public was furious, but CEO Heather Bresch's bank account is happy and healthy.
In 2016, Bresch earned a base salary of $1.3 million, $7.4 million in stock awards, $1.6 million in option awards and $2.3 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation. Her pension plan saw a $506,765 increase, and she received $696,873 in other compensation, including $20,507 for the use of a company-provided automobile, $184,020 in personal use of the company aircraft and $29,419 from a 401k and profit-sharing plan matching contribution.
Bresch's 2016 salary is markedly less than the $18.9 million she earned in 2015. Still, she ranked No. 95 on Forbes' 2016 list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women.
R.M. (Ryan) Lance, ConocoPhillips
Annual Salary: $19.2 million
As CEO of oil and natural gas corporation ConocoPhillips, R.M. Lance supervises 11,600 employees in 17 countries. The company realized earnings of $24.4 billion in 2016, so it can afford to pay Lance a high executive salary.
Lance's total CEO compensation package totaled $19.2 million, which included a salary of $1.7 million, $6.6 million in stock awards, $4.4 million in option awards, $2.6 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation and $245,437 in other compensation. His pension plan saw a $3.6 million increase.
Additionally, Lance enjoyed a number of lavish CEO perks fit for someone running a massive multinational corporation. In 2016, Lance received $121,694 in personal use of the company aircraft, $4,692 in group life insurance premiums, a $5,245 tax reimbursement gross-up, $1,806 for meeting presentations and travel reimbursements, $10,000 for a matching gift program, $15,900 for matching contributions under the tax-qualified savings plan and $86,100 for company contributions to non-qualified defined contribution plans.
John Stumpf, Wells Fargo & Company (Retired)
Annual Salary: $19.3 million
After receiving intense backlash from his handling of Wells Fargo's fake account scandal, CEO John Stumpf opted for an early retirement in October 2016. His reputation might be tarnished, but you wouldn't know it by looking at his final CEO pay.
In total, Stumpf walked into retirement with more than $130 million. This includes around 2.4 million shares of the company, valued at $109.9 million, a $19.9 million pension and $4.4 million in deferred compensation.
Prior to the controversy, Stumpf had one of the top executive salaries in the U.S. for 2015.
His $19.3 million compensation package included a $2.8 million salary, $4 million annual incentive awards and a $12.5 million performance share award.
W. James McNerney, Jr., Boeing Company (Retired)
Annual Salary: $19.9 million
On June 30, 2015, McNerney stepped down as Boeing CEO; he retired from the company's board of investors on March 1, 2016. Despite scoring a CEO compensation package worth $19.9 million, McNerney kicked off his retirement by accepting a senior advisor role at private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.
McNerney's compensation package for his final year at the world's largest aerospace company is more than the average worker will earn in a lifetime. In 2015, he received a salary of $1.7 million, $6.3 million in stock awards, $11.3 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation and $586,220 in other compensation. The latter benefit includes $7,802 in life insurance premiums and $103,196 in company contributions to retirement plans.
See How You Compare: How Your Finances Measure Up to the Typical American's
Jeff Immelt, General Electric Company (Retired)
Annual Salary: $21.3 million
Former General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt retired in October 2017, but not before cashing in on a giant 2016 payday. His $21.3 million executive compensation package included a salary of $3.8 million and a cash bonus of $4.3 million. Also included in his compensation package were $4.7 million in stock awards, $2.1 million in options awards, $1.6 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation, $3.6 million in pension and deferred compensation earnings and $1.2 million in other compensation.
As the CEO of one of the world's biggest public companies and the most valuable public company in Connecticut from 2001 to 2017, Immelt enjoyed plenty of outrageous perks. The 2017 proxy statement detailed Immelt's $1.2 million in other compensation for 2016, including $257,639 in personal use of the company jet, $19,516 for leased cars, $445,136 in life insurance premiums, $376,744 in headquarter relocation fees, $7,150 in relocation tax benefits and $69,678 denoted as other.
After Immelt stepped down, the GE board became aware that a spare jet accompanied him on select business trips until 2014. It is unknown when the extra jet started traveling with him, but the company conducted an internal review into the matter.
Ginni Rometty, IBM
Annual Salary: $32.7 million
Ginny Rometty was named the first female CEO of IBM in October 2011. Employed by the tech company since 1981, she earned $32.7 million in 2016 as its chairman, president and CEO.
Named No. 10 on Forbes' 2017 Power Women list, Rometty's total 2016 CEO compensation breakdown includes $1.6 million salary, $12.8 million in stock awards, $12.1 million in option awards, $5 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation, $388,265 in pension and deferred compensation earnings and $840,782 in other compensation.
Learn More: Most Powerful Female CEOs and Their Net Worths
Robert Iger, Walt Disney Company
Annual Salary: $43.9 million
Disney is one of the world's most valuable brands, worth an estimated $178 billion, according to Forbes. So, it's not surprising that Bob Iger, the company's chairman and CEO, receives an outsized annual executive compensation package. Iger has come a long way from his first job.
Iger's total 2016 compensation includes a $2.5 million salary, $8.8 million in stock awards, $8.5 million in option awards, $20 million in non-equity incentive compensation, $2.9 million in pension and non-qualified deferred compensation earnings and $1.2 million in other compensation. This category includes cushy CEO perks, such as $282,831 in personal use of the company jet and $869,476 for security.
Iger is certainly the highest-paid employee within the company, but he isn't the only Disney executive who earned a larger-than-life compensation package in 2016. Tom Staggs, the company's former chief operating officer, made $21.2 million.
Leslie Moonves, CBS Corporation
Annual Salary: $69.6 million
Being a studio head is a huge responsibility, so it's probably not too surprising that Les Moonves earned one of the highest executive salaries of 2016. As president, CEO and chairman of the board for CBS, Moonves oversees all company operations. He was instrumental in turning the company around when it was failing in the mid-'90s.
In 2016, his total compensation package was $69.6 million, which included some seriously lavish CEO perks. Along with a $3.5 million salary, Moonves received a $32 million bonus, $31.9 million in stock awards and $956,011 in pension and deferred compensation earnings.
He also received $1.1 million in other compensation, which included $537,945 for security, $343,849 in transportation-related benefits and $234,564 in company-paid life insurance.
Mario Gabelli, GAMCO Investors, Inc.
Annual Salary: $76 million
He didn't earn a fixed salary or bonus, but Mario Gabelli, chairman and CEO of GAMCO Investors, Inc. still managed to nearly top the charts with his 2016 executive pay. He earned $16.5 million in incentive management fees and $59.5 million in portfolio management fees, which added up to a grand total of $76 million.
At $75 million Gabelli's 2015 CEO pay was roughly the same, but this is considerably less than the $88.5 million he earned in 2014. Gabelli founded the firm in 1976 and it averaged $42.3 billion in assets under management as of Sept. 30, 2017.
Phillipe Dauman, Viacom (Former)
Annual Salary: $93 million
He resigned from his role as Viacom president and CEO in August 2016, but Phillipe Dauman isn't hurting for cash. Named CEO in September 2006, he reigned atop the media conglomerate for nearly a decade.
In 2016, his last year on the Viacom payroll, Dauman brought in an awe-inspiring $93 million in total CEO compensation. This included a base salary of $3.6 million, $13.8 million in stock awards, $7.5 million in option awards, $9.7 million incentive plan compensation and $31,657 in pension and deferred compensation earnings.
Dauman also collected $58.4 million in other compensation. This included $361,716 in personal use of the company aircraft, $22,711 for use of a car service and a $58 million separation payment.
Thomas Rutledge, Charter Communications
Annual Salary: $98.5 million
Running a TV, Internet and voice company that serves 26 million customers in 41 states is a big job, but Thomas Rutledge is paid handsomely for his efforts. The Charter Communications chairman and CEO received a whopping $98.5 million executive compensation package in 2016.
His CEO pay breakdown includes a $2 million salary, $10.1 million in stock awards, $78 million in option awards, $7.7 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation and $503,383 in pension and deferred compensation earnings. Rutledge also received $283,549 in other compensation, including $266,290 for personal use of the corporate airplane and $15,445 in group term life insurance premiums.
Sundar Pichai, Google, Inc.
Annual Salary: $199.7 million
Sundar Pichai was appointed Google, Inc. CEO in October 2015, and joined the board of directors of its parent company Alphabet in July 2017. Helming the tech company is likely very challenging, but his 2016 executive compensation package of $199.7 million likely made it much easier to deal with the pressures of the job.
Pichai earned a $650,000 salary, $198.7 million in stock awards and $372,410 in other compensation. This is especially impressive considering his 2015 CEO pay totaled $100.6 million, meaning he essentially doubled his pay in just one year. Google is one of the highest-rated companies by Glassdoor, so Pichai earns his high-priced salary.
Mitch Garber, Caesars Acquisition Company & Caesars Interactive Entertainment
Annual Salary: $210 million
Mitch Garber had a seriously lucrative 2016. The Caesars Interactive Entertainment LLC CEO and director oversaw the $4.4 billion acquisition of the company's casino-style games division Playtika, Ltd. to a group of Chinese investors spearheaded by Shanghai Giant Network Technology Co.
The $4.4 billion deal was approximately 18 times what Caesars paid for the company, which allowed the company's main subsidiary to free itself from bankruptcy. Anything but bankrupt himself, Garber's $210 million CEO pay included a $1.7 million salary and bonus, $168.3 million in stock options and restricted shares and stock he owned in the interactive division valued at $40.3 million.
Marissa Mayer, Yahoo (Former)
Total Severance Pay: Nearly $260 million
She took the top job at Yahoo in 2012, but Marissa Mayer resigned from the tech company in June 2017 after playing an instrumental role in its demise. Her departure coincided with the closing of Verizon's $4.48 billion acquisition of Yahoo, which came with a hefty cut of executive pay for Mayer.
In total, she walked away with nearly $260 million in CEO pay. This included roughly 4.5 million shares of Yahoo, valued at approximately $236 million, and $23 million in severance payments.