Becoming the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a Fortune 500 company is an impressive accomplishment for anyone. It is not an easy task being the top officer- you're responsible for the overall performance of the entire firm. The trade-off is that the CEO is generally highly compensated for the responsibility. A CEO's total compensation can be made up of salary, bonuses, stock awards, stock options, inventive plans, profit sharing, grants and other various payments. According to analysis from The Associated Press, the average CEO of the top 350 firms made roughly $14.1 million in 2012. Being at the helm has considerable financial rewards, and the top CEOs made far above the nation's average.
Tim Cook - Apple
Since joining Apple in 1998, CEO Tim Cook now brings home $1.4 million in salary, nearly 3 million in bonuses and over $36 million in stock.
Larry Ellison - Oracle
Another Silicon Valley alumnus to top the list is Larry Ellison, the CEO and founder of Oracle. With a salary of only $1 annually, it is hard to believe that Ellison falls in the second spot. The reason Ellison is No. 2 is that he received roughly $77.5 million through non-equity incentive plan compensation, stock options and other compensation in 2011. Ellison founded Oracle in 1977 and has remained the company's CEO since inception.
Leslie Moonves - CBS
Moonves was elected president and CEO of one of the world's largest media companies. He was previously the co-president and co-COO of Viacom, the parent company to CBS until Viacom split into two publicly traded companies in 2006. At the time of the split, Moonves was appointed to his current position. With an annual salary of $3.5 million, Moonves cashed in almost $70 million in 2011. The majority of his total compensation was accumulated from nearly $55 million in bonuses and option awards.
Ronald Johnson - J.C. Penny
Ronald Johnson created one of the most successful retail stores to date. Previously a senior vice president for Apple, he was one of the creators behind the Apple retail store. As retail chief, Johnson led Apple to the highest sales per square foot out of any retailer. He left Apple in November 2011 to become CEO of J.C. Penny, a leading department store in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Although Johnson was only head of the store for a few months, he still managed to receive over $53 million in compensation in 2011.
Sanjay Jha - Motorola Mobility
Making roughly $46 million as the CEO of Motorola Mobility in 2011, Sanjay Jha left Motorola after the Google acquisition closed in May 2012. He still managed to receive a severance package of an additional $65 million. This left many to wonder how he was able to depart with a golden parachute. Jha was replaced by longtime Google executive Dennis Woodside as the new CEO of Motorola Mobility. Jha was originally hired in 2008 as Motorola Inc. co-CEO and became the CEO of Motorola Mobility when it split from Motorola, now called Motorola Solutions, in early 2011.