‘Most Overpaid CEOs’ Fall Behind on Delivering Returns

Corporate watchdog analyzed returns generated for shareholders

David Zaslav, President and CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery talks to the media as he arrives at the Sun Valley Resort for the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 05, 2022 in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images


  • A watchdog group ranked CEOs by how overpaid they are and created a list of the 100 with the most "exorbitant pay."
  • The 100 most overpaid CEOs on the list were paid $3.8 billion collectively, and underperformed for their company shareholders, the group said. 
  • The CEOs were ranked based on their companies’ returns for shareholders, their pay compared to employees, and how many shareholders voted against their pay packages. 

When it comes to executive salaries, shareholders aren’t getting their money’s worth—at least at certain companies, a chart of overpaid CEO company performance shows.

As You Sow, a corporate responsibility watchdog group, ranked the top 100 most overpaid CEOs by analyzing the returns and reinvested dividends their companies generated for shareholders, the percentage of shareholders who voted against their pay packages, and how much more the CEOs made than typical employees. The most overpaid, in their analysis, was Warner Brothers Discovery (WBD) chief David M. Zaslav, who was paid nearly a quarter billion dollars in 2022 only to deliver a five-year annualized total shareholder return of -11.6%. The chart below shows how the top 10 most overpaid CEOs performed relative to the S&P 500.

“As a group, overpaid CEOs have not delivered the expected financial results for the company based on their exorbitant pay,” the researchers said in the report.

Out of $7.7 billion a year paid to all the CEOs of the companies in the S&P 500, $3.8 billion went to the top 100 most overpaid CEOs on As You Sow’s list—more than $2 billion more than they should get, the group calculated.

See the top 20 CEOs below:

CEO Company CEO Pay Median Worker Pay  Market Cap
David M. Zaslav Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. $246.57 million $82,964 $37.18 billion
Fabrizio Freda Estee Lauder Companies Inc. $66.00 million $33,586 $89.14 billion
Jay A. Snowden Penn National Gaming, Inc. $65.89 million $33,930 $4.99 billion
Patrick Gelsinger Intel Corporation $178.59 million $104,400 $116.66 billion
Glenn D. Fogel Booking Holdings Inc. $53.98 million $58,005 $96.71 billion
William R. McDermott ServiceNow, Inc. $165.80 million $233,859 $91.65 billion
James Dimon JPMorgan Chase & Co. $84.43 million $92,112 $415.99 billion
Robert G. Goldstein Las Vegas Sands Corp. $31.20 million $35,879 $43.43 billion
Andrew R. Jassy Amazon.com, Inc. $212.70 million $32,855 $1.01 trillion
Timothy D. Cook Apple Inc. $98.73 million $68,254 $2.43 trillion
Ronald F. Clarke FleetCor Technologies, Inc. $57.92 million $41,265 $15.81 billion
David J. Lesar CenterPoint Energy, Inc. $37.81 million $103,170 $18.29 billion
James Quincey Coca-Cola Company $24.88 million $13,894 $256.10 billion
Rosalind G. Brewer Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc $28.33 million $26,255 $31.33 billion
Ernie L. Herrman TJX Companies Inc $31.80 million $14,139 $92.00 billion
Richard Beckwitt & Jonathan M. Jaffe Lennar Corporation $68.09 million $101,561 $28.77 billion
DavidW. Gibbs Yum! Brands, Inc. $27.59 million $13,082 $36.88 billion
John J. Donahoe II NIKE, Inc. $32.92 million $36,077 $191.80 billion
Andrew Wilson Electronic Arts Inc. $39.17 million $123,935 $30.51 billion
David V. Auld D.R. Horton, Inc. $30.57 million $107,880 $32.96 billion
All information, except market cap comes from As You Sow's Most Overpaid CEO report. Market Cap was collected from Google Finance.
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  1. As You Sow. "The 100 Most Overpaid CEOs."

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