Survey reports Facebook CEO earned whopping $2.3 billion as stocks power pay median for executives

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is one of the wealthiest business owners in the world. How wealthy, you ask?

According to a new report by GMI Ratings, Zuckerberg earned nearly $2.3 billion in 2012, making him the highest paid CEO in North America.

Also on the list were Apple CEO Tim Cook ($143.8 million) and Liberty Media Corp’s Gregory B. Maffei ($254.8 million).

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 “In the more than ten years that GMI has been publishing this report, I’ve never seen a top ten Highest Paid list that loomed this large,” said Greg Ruel, Senior Research Analyst and author of the report.

GMI’s report studies total actual compensation, which includes the value of stock awards that are vested or options that are exercised during the year by the executives.

“It’s the sheer size and volume of equity awards granted to these top executives that catapults their total compensation to astronomical levels,” Ruel added.

Cook is expected to see an increase of stock awards in 2016 when his $378 million worth of stock, inherited when formed Apple CEO Steve Jobs died in 2011, begins to vest.

The CEO compensation survey, polled from 2,259 publicly traded North American companies, reported that the CEO pay median had also increased 8.47%, the report cited, while pay for chief executives at S&P 500 companies rose 19.65%.

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