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The Highest Paid Chief Executives

The compensation of executives running American companies has come under fire throughout the financial crisis, with questions over whether such high pay levels are justified--and whether they make good business sense.

The New York Times tasked Equilar, an information services firm that specializes in executive compensation, to compile data on the 2008 compensation of 200 chief executives at 198 public companies. All the firms surveyed filed their annual proxies by March 27 and had revenue of at least $6.3 billion.

Even many of the best companies suffered losses in 2008, but among the 15 highest paid executives, only one heads a company that did not experience a double-digit percentage drops in stock price, with five firms losing more than half their market value. For critics of large executive compensation, these companies are extremely susceptible to criticism.

So, who are the highest paid top execs? Click ahead to find out!

By Paul Toscano
Posted 4 May 2009

Source: Salary Data from Equilar, Revenues data from Thompson Reuters, 2008 stock percent changes from LIM.