Fortune 50 CEO pay vs. our salaries

Exactly how much more do Fortune 50 CEOs make than their workers? In many cases, quite a bit more. Here is an interactive breakdown of a handful of Fortune 50 top exec salaries compared to typical employee pay at their respective companies.


It's good to be the king, or CEO, as the case may be. At least when it comes to pay. With a staggering total compensation package of $378 million for 2011, Apple's Tim Cook takes the cake for the highest Fortune 50 CEO-to-typical-worker pay ratio. Indeed, it takes 6,258 typical Apple worker salaries to match Cook's total pay. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the ratio for Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett was 11-to-1. Overall, most CEOs took home an average 379 staffers' worth in base pay. And those looking for a bump might want to check out Microsoft's openings. The software giant had the highest typical worker salaries among the 35 companies we've highlighted, at $110,000.

A few notes: For this graphic, we chose a sample of 35 Fortune 50 CEOs, collected their 2011 base salary and total compensation data from research firm Equilar, and compared those figures to typical employee salary data provided by PayScale. Total CEO compensation is calculated as the sum of base salary, discretionary and performance-based cash bonuses, the grant date value of stock and option awards, and other compensation such as benefits and perks. CEO salary is base salary. Typical employee salary is the 50th percentile of total cash compensation for all full-time workers in the PayScale database that either work for the company listed or for one of their subsidiaries. Total cash compensation includes annual base salary, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, and other forms of cash earnings, but not equity (stock) compensation.
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