Legal Chiefs out-earn some famous CEOs for the year 2020
In an unusual year for executive pay due to Covid-19, some legal chiefs were able to secure their annual compensation packages regardless of their company’s financial and employment situation.
Bloomberg Law reported the total annual compensation of legal chiefs in the Fortune 1000 based on company proxy statements in which the top lawyer was a named executive officer.
Jannice Koors, senior managing director at executive compensation consultancy Pearl Meyer, said: «It’s important to remember that the number you see in that summary compensation table is not the same thing as what somebody puts in their pocket or into an account». Equity awards are reported in proxy statements when they are granted but can take anywhere from three to 30 years to vest.
Equity grants can also be tied to multi-year performance metrics, Koors added. If an executive fails to meet those goals down the road, portions of their equity awards may never make it into their personal bank accounts.
The highest earning was Kent Walker of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, who was granted around $50.9 million, primarily made up of stock awards. Followed by Katherine Adams of Apple, who was awarded around $26.2 million in total compensation, $21 million of which are in stock. With this Adams has surpassed Tim Cook’s compensation package of $14.8 million.
Also on the list of the legal executives receiving large compensation packages were David McATee of At&T with $18.6 million, David Zapolsky of Amazon with $17.2 million, Laura Schumacher of AbbVie with $17.1 million. Followed by Edward Nekritz of Prologis with $12.3 million, Tony West of Uber Technologies with $12.3 million, David Hyman of Netflix with $10.5 million, Steven Rodgers of Intel with around $10.4 million and finally, Louise Pentland of Paypal with around 10.1 million.
Executive compensation packages typically include a base salary, a cash bonus, and equity awards that vest after a few years. For many senior executives, equity and stock can comprise up to 60% of their total compensation.