Study Reveals The Average CEO Is Paid $1,276,520 More Than Their Employees Annually

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Study Reveals The Average CEO Is Paid $1,276,520 More Than Their Employees Annually
Brett_Hondow / Pixabay

The research, from careers board site Lensa, analysed the average CEO and employee salary at the USA’s 100 biggest companies to find the extent of the wage gap.

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  • It found, on average, there is a 2,202% wage gap between a CEO and an employee. This equates to a CEO earning $1,276,520.77 more annually.

Companies With The Largest Wage Gap

Rank Company Name CEO Name CEO Salary Median Employee Pay Salary Difference CEO Salary % Difference
1 Coca-Cola James Quincey $1.60m $11,342 $1.59m 14007%
2 Starbucks Corp Kevin Johnson $1.54m $12,113 $1.53m 12617%
3 Chipotle Mexican Grill Brian Niccol $1.20m $14,155 $1.19m 8378%
4 Viacom Robert M. Bakish $3.00m $39,110 $2.96m 7571%
5 Walmart Doug McMillon $1.27m $20,942 $1.25m 5974%
6 Lowe's Companies Marvin Ellison $1.45m $24,554 $1.43m 5805%
7 Target Corp Brian Cornell $1.40m $24,535 $1.38m 5606%
8 Kroger W. Rodney McMullen $1.34m $24,617 $1.32m 5348%
9 Apple Tim Cook $3.00m $57,783 $2.94m 5092%
10 Home Depot Craig Menear $1.30m $27,389 $1.27m 4646%

 

  1. Coca-Cola CEO Salary Difference: 14,007%

Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO) recorded the highest disparity between CEO and employee pay, with James Quincey being paid 14,007% more than the average employee. Of all companies analysed, Coca Cola’s employees had the lowest median salary.

  1. Starbucks CEO Salary Difference: 12,617%

Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) has the second biggest CEO pay gap of 12,617%, with CEO Kevin Johnson earning a base salary of $1.54 million, whereas the average employee earns just $12,113. Starbucks is the biggest coffee chain in the world, yet its workers receive the second lowest average wage in our study.

  1. Chipotle Mexican Grill CEO Salary Difference: 8,378%

In third place, with a CEO pay gap of 3,378%, is Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG). Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol earns a base salary of $1.2 million and his average employee takes home $14,155, which is equivalent to about 1.18% of Mr. Niccol’s salary.

Companies With The Smallest Wage Gap

Rank Company Name CEO Name CEO Salary Median Employee Pay Salary Difference CEO Salary % Difference
1 Tesla Elon Musk $23,760 $58,455 -$34,695 -59%
2 Berkshire Hathaway Warren Buffett $100,000 $68,543 $31,457 46%
3 Boeing David L. Calhoun $269,231 $133,800 $135,431 101%
4 Amazon Jeff Bezos $81,840 $29,007 $52,833 182%
5 Fannie Mae Hugh Frater $600,000 $150,098 $449,902 300%

Tesla CEO Salary Difference: -59%

  • Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is a peculiar case in that CEO Elon Musk’s base salary is actually lower than the average employee’s, with a difference of -59%. This represents a novel approach to CEO pay, with Musk receiving stock options and rewards should company performance hit certain benchmarks.
  • In fact, in 2020 Elon Musk was the highest-paid CEO, receiving an astounding $6.66 billion worth of compensation, despite having a minimal base salary.

Wage Gap

Wage Gap

Wage Gap

Wage Gap

Wage Gap

Wage Gap

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