AP Photo/Manu Fernandez

Few issues rile up more people than income inequality. The distribution of wealth in America has always received attention, but after the Great Recession, the debate became louder and more public. The widening gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots” ignited social movements like Occupy Wall Street, bolstered liberal politicians like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and fueled all those railing against the people atop the economic ladder.

Much of the anger is directed at the “top 1 percent” — the people who make more money than 99 percent of all other Americans. Many people envision these “1 percenters” as corporate CEOs, sitting in large offices, enjoying fat paychecks and nice clothes. Usually, the paycheck part of that image isn’t far from the truth. In 2014, compensation for top CEOs averaged $16.3 million, according to the Economic Policy Institute. That’s 303 times more than what the typical worker earned that year.

To explore the wealth of the executives leading the business world, Graphiq’s corporate research site FindTheCompany ranked the 25 CEOs who made the most money in 2015. The first person on the list earned $23.4 million, while the highest-paid executive raked in more than $114 million.

Measuring what a CEO makes isn’t as easy as looking at their salary — they’re paid in many other ways. Top executives are commonly compensated through restricted stock awards, shares of company that become available years down the line.

Restricted stock awards are often worth significantly more than salary. While serving as Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs had a salary of only $1 per year. However in 2003, he received a stock award worth $75 million. Similarly in 2007, Stephen Schwarzman, the CEO of Blackstone Group, earned a salary of $175,000, but was awarded stock worth more than $7.8 billion. Schwarzman’s 2015 compensation pales in comparison, but still earned him the third spot on the list.

To rank the highest-paid CEOs of 2015, FindTheCompany added together each executive’s salary, bonuses, restricted stock awards, security options and all other forms of compensation. The list is limited to those who were still serving as the company’s CEO in July 2016.

It’s worth noting that only two women made the list — Marissa Mayer of Yahoo and Marillyn Hewson of Lockheed Martin. That’s 8 percent. But that’s pretty representative of the country’s top companies. Only 24 of the firms in the S&P 500 — 4.8 percent — are led by women.

#24. Peter D. Meldrum

Myriad Genetics

Company: Myriad Genetics
Total Compensation: $23,358,043

Meldrum’s 2015 salary just broke $1 million. More than 86 percent of his total compensation came through stock and option rewards.

#23. Rex W. Tillerson

Brian Harkin/Getty Images

Company: Exxon Mobil
Total Compensation: $24,261,291

Tillerson received $18,288,000 in restricted stock awards in 2015, down from $21,420,000 the year before.

#22. John H. Hammergren

ustin Sullivan/Getty Images

Company: McKesson Corp.
Total Compensation: $24,844,555

Hammergren’s non-equity incentive plan made up more than 40 percent of his compensation. Put simply, this is a cash bonus based on the company’s performance.

#21. Laurence D. Fink


Company: Blackrock
Total Compensation: $25,792,630

Blackrock’s chief executive officer made nearly $16 million in restricted stock awards in 2015.

#20. Gregory C. Case

Company: Aon
Total Compensation: $27,785,220

92 percent of Case’s compensation came in the form of restricted stock awards.

#19. Patrick T. Ryan

Company: Press Ganey Holdings
Total Compensation: $28,269,745

Ryan’s compensation jumped 4,600 percent since 2014. A restricted stock award of more than $27.6 million was responsible for most of the increase.

#18. Marillyn A. Hewson

Kimberly White/Getty Images for Fortune

Company: Lockheed Martin
Total Compensation: $28,566,044

Hewson’s overall compensation fell 15.2 percent from 2014, though her salary increased by more than $100,000.

#17. David M. Zaslav

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Discovery Communications

Company: Discovery Communications
Total Compensation: $32,377,346

Zaslav saw an even bigger drop in compensation from 2014, when he made $156,077,912.

#16. Philippe P. Dauman

Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images

Company: Viacom
Total Compensation: $32,640,507

The primary driver of Dauman’s 2015 compensation was the $28,376,982 he received in restricted stock awards.

#15. Jeffrey R. Immelt

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Company: General Electric
Total Compensation: $32,973,947

Though the compensation of GE’s CEO isn’t dominated by any one payment, his non-equity incentive plan of $7.6 million makes up the biggest chunk of the total.

#14. Ari Bousbib

Company: IMS Health Holdings
Total Compensation: $34,833,517

Bousbib’s hefty restricted stock award of $25.6 million makes up the majority of his total compensation.

#13. Marissa A. Mayer

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Company: Yahoo!
Total Compensation: $35,981,107

Verizon just bought Yahoo! for $4.8 billion, putting Mayer’s job on the line.

#12. Hari Ravichandran

Endurance International Group Holdings

Company: Endurance International Group Holdings
Total Compensation: $35,995,658

Ravichandran’s compensation jumped 2,282 percent from 2014, driven mostly by a restricted stock award of more than $35 million.

#11. Sandeep Mathrani

Company: General Growth Properties
Total Compensation: $36,247,558

Mathrani’s compensation was also driven by a stock award of about $35 million.

#10. Scott Scherr

Ultimate Software Company

Company: The Ultimate Software Group
Total Compensation: $38,342,994

Though Scherr’s salary remained the same from 2014, his 2015 restricted stock award increased $26 million from the previous year.

#9. Omar Ishrak

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Company: Medtronic
Total Compensation: $39,460,266

Ishrak’s compensation increased 226 percent from 2014.

#8. Timothy P. Walbert

Horizon Pharma

Company: Horizon Pharma
Compensation: $44,488,508

Walbert’s restricted stock award of about $43.5 million was the primary driver of his high total compensation.

#7. Leslie Moonves

David Livingston/Getty Images

Company: CBS
Total Compensation: $49,152,802

Moonves’ compensation has fallen every year since 2013. However, he’s reportedly accumulated more half a billion dollars in compensation during his tenure at CBS.

#6. Henry R. Kravis

 Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Company: KKR & Co.
Total Compensation: $52,294,055

Only $300,000 of Kravis’ total compensation came from salary. The rest was considered “other compensation,” which includes contributions to 401(k) plans and tax reimbursements, among other things.

#5. George R. Roberts

SEC Proxy Statements and 10-K's

Company: KKR & Co.
Total Compensation: $52,364,278

Roberts, Kravis’ first cousin and co-CEO, also received only $300,000 in salary in 2015. The rest was labelled “other compensation.”



#4. Paul J. Taubman

SEC Proxy Statements and 10-K's

Company: PJT Partners
Compensation: $75,452,100

Paul J. Taubman founded the investment bank PJT Partners in 2013.

#3. Stephen A. Schwarzman

Thos Robinson/Getty Images for New York Times

Company: Blackstone Group
Compensation: $89,487,817

Schwarzman’s 2015 compensation pales in comparison to his total earnings in 2007, when he received a restricted stock award of more than $7.8 billion.

#2. Sundar Pichai

AP Photo/Manu Fernandez

Company: Google
Compensation: $100,632,102

Pichai was appointed CEO of Google in August 2015. His restricted stock award of $199 million isn’t included in his total compensation, as he received it in February 2016.

#1. Joe E. Kiani

Company: Masimo
Compensation: $114,349,924

Kiani topped the list of the highest-paid CEOs of 2015. His restricted stock award of almost $112 million made up most of his compensation.