5 Highest-Paid CFOs in the S&P 500

You know you’re doing something right if you’re one of the top paid chief financial officers in the game.

And a new report via The Wall Street Journal highlights exactly who these moneymakers are, as its analysis looks at data from the Standard & Poor Capital IQ. Here, the summary compensation information for the 12 months that ended June 1, illuminates the S&P CFOs’ salaries, annual bonuses, the value of stock and stock options at the time of the grant, and much more. And a breakdown of the figures show that the median pay for these CFOs has risen 2 percent over the last year to $3.4 million, aligning with the same pay increase from the year before. This reflects the steady growth of the business industry, and also means good things for the lower-level workers.

Though the companies who host the top 5 highest-paid CFOs in the S&P 500 all declined to comment, we’re going to go ahead and highlight them all anyway.

5. Keith Sherin, General Electric

source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/usdol/

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/usdol/

Coming in at lucky #5 is General Electric’s (NYSE:GE) very own Keith Sherin. He scored a pay package valued at $20.2 million last year and also holds the title of company vice chairman. While Sherin’s salary was significantly higher than the median pay for a CFO, it was still only a third of what our #1 CFO made. It is interesting to note that although these pay packages are undoubtedly high, the CFOs’ increased focus on performance for their pay has led them to see less of the perquisites that used to be more common for executive-compensation plans. Though there is obviously not a dire need to provide them with their own company cars or memberships, it is important to note where the focus has shifted, and how the improved performance of CFOs is helping their sales.

4. Michael Angelakis, Comcast

source; http://www.flickr.com/photos/babson_college/

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/babson_college/

Next up is Comcast Corp.’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Michael Angelakis. Like Sherin, he is also the company’s vice chairman, but he made about $3 million more last year, with his pay package totaling $23.2 million. Also similar to GE’s CFO, Angelakis’s awards are now more closely tied to his ability to meet performance targets. While his predecessors were likely subject to automatic vesting at scheduled dates, Angelakis’s money is more dependent on the execution of his work, and how its reflected in the company’s shares.

3. Patrick Pichette, Google

source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/c2mtl/

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/c2mtl/

The #3 highest paid CFO is the man behind the search engine. And the AndroidGoogle’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Patrick Pichette earned a pay package last year valued at $38.7 million, earning him the third spot. He is also senior vice president at Google and has been at the company since August 2008. He earned almost $15 million more than the men who proceed him on our list, but still only half of what the #1 CFO made.

2. Safra Catz, Oracle

source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/oracle_images/

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/oracle_images/

As we move toward the top of our list, you’ll witness that like this company’s share trends,the CFO salary increases exponentially, a pattern highlighted by Oracle Corp.’s (NASDAQ:ORCL) CFO Safra Catz who scored $51.7 million last year, according to her pay for the company’s fiscal year that ended May 31, 2012 — the most recent year for which data was available. Catz, the only woman on our list, made most of her money in the form of stock options worth $48.3 million at the time of the grant. She is also Oracle’s president and is listed as #23 on Forbes’s list of most powerful women, up from #48 in 2012.

1. Peter Oppenheimer, Apple

source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8786051@N03/

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8786051@N03/

And last but certainly not least, we come to our highest paid CFO in the S&P 500: Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) very own main money man. This CFO knows how to manage Apple so that it not only attracts more and more customers, but it also keeps them. Last year he made a jaw-dropping $68.6 million, marking the biggest salary for any finance chief in the S&P 500 in at least three years. He scored almost $17 million more than the fourth highest paid CFO, and also a lot more than Apple’s Chief Executive Tim Cook who (only) made $4.2 million. But don’t feel too badly for Cook, because last year he received stock awards that valued at $376.2 million.

Because that’s how the gadget giant works – it makes stock grants every two years. Oppenheimer only made $1.4 million in 2011 but received a stock award last year valued at $66.2 million at the time of the grant.

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