Top 10 US CEOs earned nearly $5bn

Mark Zuckerberg, FacebookPress TV

The 10 highest-paid chief executives officers (CEO’s) in the United States each received at least $100 million in 2012, even as the wages of working people sinks, according to a new survey of executive pay.

According to GMI Ratings annual poll of executive compensation, released on Tuesday, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s co-founder, was America’s highest-paid boss in 2012, earning a staggering $2.27 billion or more than $6 million a day.   

Zuckerberg’s base salary was $503,205 but the vast majority of his enormous pay package came from exercising 60 million Facebook share options when the company went public last year, the Guardian reported.

“I have never seen anything like that,” Greg Ruel, the author of the report, told the Guardian. “Usually we have a few CEOs at the $100m-plus level, but never the entire top 10.”

Richard Kinder, the CEO and chairman of energy firm Kinder Morgan was the second highest paid executive, making $1.1 billion selling restricted stock. The payout follows a nearly $60 million profit from stock in 2011.

In total, the top 10 CEOs in this year’s poll took home over $4.7 billion between them, and for the first time ever, none earned less than $100 million.

According to a study in September, the income gap between the richest 1 percent in the United States and the rest of the American people reached its widest last year.

The study showed that that the richest 1 percent collected 19.3 percent of household income in 2012, their biggest share since 1928.


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