The Highest-Paid and Most-Liked CEOs

How their company stocks measure up.


As reported by the Associated Press, here is a list of the 10 highest-paid CEOs in 2007:

  1. Larry Ellison, Oracle Corp., $84.6 million
  2. John Thain, Merrill Lynch & Co., $83.1 million
  3. Leslie Moonves, CBS Corp., $67.6 million
  4. Richard Adkerson, Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc., $65.3 million
  5. Bob Simpson, XTO Energy Inc., $56.6 million
  6. Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., $54.0 million
  7. Kenneth Chenault, American Express Co., $51.7 million
  8. Eugene Isenberg, Nabors Industries Ltd., $44.6 million
  9. John Mack, Morgan Stanley, $41.7 million
  10. Glenn Murphy, Gap Inc., $39.1 million

Blogger Douglas McIntyre of 24/7 Wall Street points out that a number of companies on this list have posted poor stock-market returns over the past two years. They include:

  • Shares of Merrill Lynch (MER) are down 70 percent (granted, Thain took over in late 2007)
  • The stock of CBS (CBS) has dropped more than 40 percent
  • American Express (AXP) stock is down 30 percent
  • Morgan Stanley (MS) stock has dropped 45 percent

Meanwhile, Cnet takes a look at a survey on CEOs with the highest and lowest approval ratings and examines their company stock performance over the past five years. Cnet found that shares of all the companies whose CEOs had the highest approval ratings—such as Apple's Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt of Google—were in the black, and the companies with disliked CEOs (including Greg Brown of Motorola and Randy Falco of AOL) were either down or flat. So what's the bottom line? Says writer Steve Tobak: "First, that we live in America, the great land of greed and capitalism. If you're stock is in the money, the CEO's a god. If your options are under water, he's a dog."