Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) was the highest paid public chief executive officer in the United States last year. GMI Ratings reports that Zuckerberg’s total compensation for 2012 was around $2.3 billion, which is more than twice of the next highest paid CEO. GMI analyzed the compensation for over 2,000 CEOs of publicly traded companies.
Nearly all of Zuckerberg’s compensation for 2012 is based on income related to Facebook’s initial public offering. When Facebook went public, Zuckerberg exercised 60 million stock options worth almost $2.3 billion. A lot of that money was used for covering his taxes. Zuckerberg also received a base salary of $500,000 per year. Starting this year, his salary has been turned into $1 per year.
Other highly paid CEOs included Richard Kinder, Tim Cook, and Marc Benioff. Kinder, the CEO of Kinder Morgan, received compensation of $1.1 billion. Apple CEO Tim Cook received $143 million and Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff received $109 million.