United States’s Top 10 Highest Paid CEOs in 2022

From Elon Musk to Safra A. Catz, checkout highest paid CEOs of United States.


In 2021, the world’s wealthiest individual also received the highest CEO pay.

Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, topped Fortune’s new list of the Fortune 500’s most highly rewarded CEOs. Musk “realised” over $23.5 billion in remuneration in 2021 after exercising some Tesla stock options issued as part of a multiyear “moonshot” grant in 2018. According to our new analysis of how Fortune 500 CEOs are compensated, that was by far the largest CEO salary in 2021.

Following Musk, the top ten highest-paid Fortune 500 CEOs in 2021 are all from the IT and biotech industries, including the CEOs of Apple, Netflix, and Microsoft. The complete list can be found below.


The ordinary employee’s remuneration pales in comparison to that of the CEO. According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), which has studied the indicator for decades, the average big-company CEO made 351 times the compensation of the average worker on a realised basis in 2020, up from a 21-to-1 ratio in 1965.

Our research looked at the pay packages of 280 Fortune 500 CEOs, finding that the median overall remuneration was $15.9 million, up 30% from a year ago. Salary and bonuses; other compensation such as vested restricted stock awards, long-term incentive payouts and perks; and stock gains in the form of value realised from exercising stock options were all taken into account when computing a CEO’s total realised pay for the most recent fiscal year. We did not include unexercised options in our total compensation calculation because their value is unknown.

The highest-paid CEOs are listed below


1. Elon Musk, Tesla: $23.5 billion

Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, “realised” over $23.5 billion in pay in 2021 as a result of executing Tesla stock options granted in 2018.

This year’s Fortune 500 rated Tesla at number 65. The corporation enjoyed a record-breaking year in 2021, pulling in $53.8 billion in revenue, up 71% from the previous year, and considerably expanding into major European and Chinese markets. Tesla delivered 936,000 units in 2021, a growth of 87% that places the company at the top of the worldwide EV industry with a 14% market share.

2. Tim Cook, $770.5 Million

Since 2011, Cook has been the CEO of Apple Inc. He made $770.5 million in 2021 alone, largely as part of a $1.7 billion 10-year stock grant. However, Cook’s massive pay contract may be justified by Apple’s stock market performance during his leadership: the computer giant’s market worth has climbed by $2.2 trillion over his tenure.

On the Fortune 500, Apple is ranked number three. Despite the hurdles posed by the global chip scarcity, the company was able to successfully begin manufacturing the equipment in-house. Apple ended the year with a massive profit of $95 billion, beating every other U.S. firm in that category.

Apple has refused to comment on Fortune’s findings.

3. Jensen Huang, NVIDIA, $561 million

Huang is a co-founder of NVIDIA, a software business best known for its Shield gaming consoles and Artificial Intelligence advances.

The company was ranked 134 on the Fortune 500 this year. The company’s revenue increased by 61.4 percent.

Huang “realised around $507 million from expiring options that had been awarded in 2011 and 2012,” according to a spokesman, “representing the almost 60x increase in the company’s share price over the [previous] decade.”

4. Reed Hastings, Netflix: $453.5 million

Hastings is the streaming giant’s co-founder, CEO, and chairman. Netflix grew from a DVD postal delivery operation to an online streaming powerhouse under his leadership.

Netflix was rated 115 on the Fortune 500, with a revenue change of 18.8%. As the world reopens after the pandemic, the corporation has lately trimmed expenditures after losing members. Streaming services are also putting pressure on Netflix.

Fortune’s analysis of Hastings’ realised pay was disputed by a spokeswoman, who would only repeat the total value of his “allowed” salary for 2021: “His remuneration in 2021 was $40.8 million, with $650,000 in cash and $39.7 million in stock options, according to our proxy statement.”

5. Leonard Schleifer, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals: $452.9 million

Schleifer is the co-founder and CEO of Regeneron, a biopharmaceutical company that develops drugs for asthma, cancer, chronic pain, and other ailments.

On this year’s Fortune 500, the company was rated 231st. In 2021, revenue increased by 89.1%, thanks to the company’s REGEN-COV antibody therapy for COVID-19 prevention and treatment.

6. Marc Benioff, Salesforce: $439.4 million

Salesforce was founded in 1999 by Marc Benioff, who coined the phrase “The End of Software.” This year’s Fortune 500 put the cloud-based customer relationship management software at number 136.

Salesforce’s recent acquisitions of MuleSoft, Tableau, and Slack have aided in the company’s expansion. In 2021, revenue increased by 24.7 percent.

7. Satya Nadella, Microsoft: $309.4 million

Many of Nadella’s peers are likely to believe he is deserving of a large sum of money. According to the survey underlying Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies, Nadella was named the “most undervalued” CEO for the sixth year in a row this year. Since 2017, Nadella has been at the top of the list.

Thanks to a successful Surface laptop and tablet launch, Microsoft saw a 38 percent gain in profits last year, earning $61 billion, the fourth-largest sum among Fortune 500 corporations, as revenue grew 17.5 percent to $168 billion. The corporation, which came in at number 14 on the Fortune 500 this year, also had to deal with a chip shortage, which hampered Xbox game consoles.

8. Robert A. Kotick, Activision Blizzard: $296.7 million

In 1991, Kotick was named CEO of Activision. The gaming behemoth, best known for titles such as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, was rated 396 on the Fortune 500 this year.

According to our calculations, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick earned $296.7 million last year from the value realised on vested restricted stock. Despite widespread employee complaints and many lawsuits alleging sexism, harassment, and Kotick’s personal mishandling of assault charges at the game producer, Microsoft decided to buy Activision in January for $68.7 billion, making it the company’s largest acquisition to date.

9. Hock E. Tan, Broadcom: $288 million

Tan was born in Malaysia and received a scholarship to M.I.T. before pursuing a career in business. Since Avago’s $37 billion acquisition of Broadcom in 2015, he has become the company’s CEO.

Broadcom, a company that designs and manufactures a wide range of semiconductor and software products, came in at number 128 on the Fortune 500 this year. In 2021, the company’s revenue increased by 14.9 percent.

10. Safra A. Catz, Oracle: $239.5 million

Catz worked as a banker before joining Oracle in 1999 as a Senior Vice President. In 2014, she joined Mark Hurd as co-CEO. Hurd stepped down in 2019 due to health concerns, and Catz took over as CEO.

Oracle, which is best known for database software, has had lacklustre revenue growth in recent years. On the Fortune 500, the company dropped 11 spots to number 91. Oracle announced a $28 billion deal to buy Cerner, an electronic health records business, in December 2021; as of May 2022, the deal was still being reviewed by regulators in the United States and Europe.