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CEOs With the Most Options

Boardrooms and compensation committees continue to grapple with heightened scrutiny and controversy surrounding CEO pay packages. In the wake of the “golden parachute” outrage of the financial crisis, payouts in the form of stock options have become a favored form of compensation for public companies.

Options typically don’t vest for three to four years, which helps prevent a CEO from taking home a windfall payout in the event he or she is prematurely ousted because of poor performance, scandal, or some other reason. But some executives are fortunate enough to have huge options holdings vesting this year. Compensation research firm Equilar analyzed approximately 400,000 filings for more than 6,000 executives to see which ones have the most stock options vesting before the end of this year. This information is being presented for the first time on CNBC.com.

So which CEOs survived the turmoil, and are now in line to reap the rewards of a massive stock option cash-out? Click ahead and find out.

By Jesse Bergman
14 September 2011