Mike Isaac

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And the Highest-Paid Tech CEOs Are …

gift_cashAs the great Mel Brooks once said, “It’s good to be the king.” Especially, that is, when you’re getting paid like one.

And according to recent data, this year’s class of top public-company CEOs are definitely being compensated like royalty.

That’s per the latest research compiled by Equilar Inc. for the New York Times, which said that the top 200 CEOs of public companies with revenue over $1 billion got quite the healthy bump in pay. The study found that the median compensation package came in at $15.1 million for 2012, a 16 percent bounce from the year previous.

So who’s on the list from our neck of the tech sector, you ask?

Larry Ellison, of course. The Oracle CEO and co-founder topped the entire list of 200 with a compensation package worth a whopping $96.2 million, a bump of $18.6 million from his 2011 take. Others rounding out the tech high end are Activision’s Robert Kotick ($64.9 million), Salesforce’s Marc Benioff ($22.1 million) and outgoing Intel CEO Paul Otellini ($18.9 million).

Nuance Communications chief Paul Ricci did quite well with a $37.1 million package, as did James Crowe of Level 3 Communications at $40.7 million.

ellisonThe most noteworthy newcomer is a familiar face: Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer. She took home a package worth $36.6 million in 2012, a number that falls at the upper end of the middle for the 30-odd technology CEOs who made the list.

Most of the folks included boasted packages in the $10 million to $20 million range; HP’s Meg Whitman clocked in at $15.4 million, as did IBM’s Virginia Rometty. Intuit’s Brad Smith hit $12.26 million, while AOL chief Tim Armstrong took home $12.1 million.

The lowest of the tech group? That went to Sprint’s Dan Hesse, whose total compensation was worth $11.1 million.

Keep in mind that these packages include base salary, cash bonuses, stock and options, as well as other forms of compensation (benefits, perks). And the bulk of these millions aren’t usually from salaries or in cash, but rather the stock options that are included. Ellison received about $90 million of his total $96.2 million package in options; Kotick’s options comprised 86 percent of his package’s value.

marissa_mayer_at_d_600-2Not too bad for just a handful of years after America’s Great Recession. I have to wonder, though, whether the shareholders are cool with these CEO pay packages.

Check out the rest of the list — and the nicely done accompanying article — at the Times’ site, here.

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