Top Stories
Top Stories
Slideshows

Executives With the Most Options Compensation

CEOs With the Most Options

SS_ceo_Cover.jpg
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,

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

10. James Meyer

SS_ceo_James_Meyer.jpg
Sirius XM Radio President, Operations & Sales (SIRI) Value of options vesting in fourth quarter 2011: $7.5M Base salary: $1.1 million Cash bonus: $1.5 million Meyer joined Sirius XM in May 2004 after leaving the consulting firm Aegis Ventures. At number 10 on this list, his $7.5 million in vested fourth quarter options are still worth more than 36 times that of similar executives that Equilar analyzed (whose average fourth-quarter vested options were worth roughly $207,000).
Photo: Sirius.com

President, Operations and Sales of Sirius XM Radio 

Value of options vesting in fourth quarter 2011: $7.5 million 
Base salary: $1.1 million
Cash bonus: $1.5 million

Meyer joined Sirius XM in May 2004 after leaving the consulting firm Aegis Ventures. At number 10 on this list, his $7.5 million in vested fourth-quarter options are still worth more than 36 times that of similar executives that Equilar analyzed (whose average fourth-quarter vested options were worth roughly $207,000).

9. James Hackett

SS_ceo_James_Hackett.jpg
Anadarko Petroleum CEO (APC) Value of options vesting in fourth quarter 2011: $8.0M Base salary: $1.6 million Cash bonus: $3.0 million One of the richest executives in the oil and gas industry, Hackett was named Anadarko’s CEO in December 2003. The company’s stock has climbed more than 200 percent since that time, significantly outpacing the S&P 500, which is up just 11 percent over the same period.
Photo: Getty Images

CEO, Anadarko Petroleum

Value of options vesting in fourth quarter 2011: $8.0 million 
Base salary: $1.6 million
Cash bonus: $3.0 million

One of the richest executives in the oil and gas industry, Hackett was named Anadarko Petroleum’s CEO in December 2003. The company’s stock has climbed more than 200 percent since that time, significantly outpacing the S&P 500, which is up just 11 percent over the same period.

8. Michael Koehler

SS_ceo_Michael_Koehler.jpg
Teradata CEO (TDC) Value of options vesting in fourth quarter 2011: $9.3M Base salary: $700,000 Cash bonus: $1.3 million Koehler began his career with the global technology company NCR in 1975, and would later lead Teradata’s spin-off from NCR in 2007. Under Koehler’s reign, the company’s shares have risen roughly 87 percent, making his options significantly more valuable than his base salary.
Photo: teradata.com

CEO, Teradata

Value of options vesting in fourth quarter 2011: $9.3 million 
Base salary: $700,000
Cash bonus: $1.3 million

Koehler began his career with the global technology company NCR in 1975, and would later lead Teradata’s spin-off from NCR in 2007. Under Koehler’s reign, the company’s shares have risen roughly 87 percent, making his options significantly more valuable than his base salary.

7. Mark Donegan

SS_ceo_Roy_Mark_Donegans.jpg
Precision Castparts CEO (PCP) Value of options vesting in fourth quarter 2011: $10.4M Base salary: $1.4 million Cash bonus: $1.6 million Donegan was named CEO of Precision Castparts, a Portland, Ore.-based metal products manufacturer, in August of 2002. Donegan came to the company after working at General Electric for roughly seven years.
Photo: bizjournals.com

CEO, Precision Castparts

Value of options vesting in fourth quarter 2011: $10.4 million 
Base salary: $1.4 million
Cash bonus: $1.6 million

Donegan was named CEO of Precision Castparts, a Portland, Ore.-based metal products manufacturer, in August of 2002. Donegan came to the company after working at General Electric for roughly seven years.

6. George Lindemann

SS_ceo_Michael_George_Lindemann.jpg
Southern Union CEO (SUG) Value of options vesting in fourth quarter 2011: $10.7M Base salary: $1.0 million Cash bonus: $3.25 million The son of a self-made cosmetics mogul, Lindemann has held the CEO title at Southern Union, one of the nation’s largest natural gas pipeline companies, for more than two decades. Over that time, the stock has seen gains of more than 1,200 percent.
Photo: wharton.upenn.edu

CEO, Southern Union

Value of options vesting in fourth quarter 2011: $10.7 million 
Base salary: $1.0 million
Cash bonus: $3.25 million

The son of a self-made cosmetics mogul, Lindemann has held the CEO title at Southern Union, one of the nation’s largest natural gas pipeline companies, for more than two decades. Over that time, the stock has seen gains of more than 1,200 percent.

5. Roy Vagelos

SS_ceo_Roy_Vagelos.jpg
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Chairman (REGN) Value of options vesting in fourth quarter 2011: $11.5M Base salary: $100,000 Cash bonus: N/A Vagelos has served as chairman for Regeneron since January 1995. The value of his options vesting in the fourth quarter are worth more than 100 times his base salary, which at $100,000 is relatively diminutive compared to other CEOs on this list.
Photo: Getty Images

Chairman, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

Value of options vesting in fourth quarter 2011: $11.5 million 
Base salary: $100,000
Cash bonus: N/A

Vagelos has served as chairman for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals since January 1995. The value of his options vesting in the fourth quarter are worth more than 100 times his base salary, which at $100,000 is relatively diminutive compared to other CEOs on this list.

4. John Brock

SS_ceo_John_Brock.jpg
Coca-Cola Enterprises CEO (CCE) Value of options vesting in fourth quarter 2001: $12.0M Base salary: $1.2 million Cash bonus: $3.5 million Prior to joining Coke, Brock served as COO of Cadbury Schweppes. Brock has served as Coca-Cola Enterprises CEO since April 2006–shares of the company have risen roughly 30 percent over that time.
Photo: Getty Images

CEO, Coca-Cola Enterprises

Value of options vesting in fourth quarter 2001: $12.0 million 
Base salary: $1.2 million
Cash bonus: $3.5 million

Prior to joining Coca-Cola Enterprises, Brock served as COO of Cadbury Schweppes. Brock has served as its CEO since April 2006, and shares of the company have risen roughly 30 percent over that time.

3. Gregory Maffei

SS_ceo_Gregory_Maffei.jpg
Liberty Media CEO (LINTA) Value of options vesting in fourth quarter 2011: $13.1M Base salary: $1.5 million Cash bonus: $4.3 million A former CFO at Microsoft, Maffei became CEO at Liberty Media in 2006. Liberty Media owns the Atlanta Braves, QVC, Starz, and Live Nation.
Photo: Getty Images

CEO, Liberty Media

Value of options vesting in fourth quarter 2011: $13.1 million 
Base salary: $1.5 million
Cash bonus: $4.3 million

A former CFO at Microsoft, Maffei became CEO at Liberty Media in 2006. Liberty Media owns the Atlanta Braves, QVC, Starz, and Live Nation.

2. Howard Schultz

SS_ceo_Howard_Schultz.jpg
Starbucks CEO (SBUX) Value of options vesting in fourth quarter 2011: $26.1M Base salary: $1.28 million Cash bonus: $3.5 million Schultz’s $26.1 million in options vesting in the fourth quarter are worth more than five times the value of his annual salary and cash bonus combined. Shultz rejoined Starbucks as CEO in 2008 (after an eight year hiatus), receiving a large chunk of options upon his arrival. Shares have rallied roughly 340 percent since then.
Photo: Getty Images

CEO, Starbucks

Value of options vesting in fourth quarter 2011: $26.1 million 
Base salary: $1.28 million
Cash bonus: $3.5 million

Schultz’s $26.1 million in options vesting in the fourth quarter are worth more than five times the value of his annual salary and cash bonus combined. Shultz rejoined Starbucks as CEO in 2008 (after an eight year hiatus), receiving a large chunk of options upon his arrival. Shares have rallied roughly 340 percent since then.

1. Mel Karmazin

SS_ceo_Karmazin_Mel.jpg
Sirius XM Radio CEO (SIRI) Value of options vesting in fourth quarter 2011: $39.9 million Base salary: $1.5 million Cash bonus: $8.4 million A former Viacom (VIA) executive, Karmazin was awarded 120 million options in June 2009, thanks to an extension of his employment agreement at Sirius XM Radio. Since then, shares of the company have risen roughly 375 percent. His options partially vest each Dec. 31, and are set to fully vest after four years.
Photo: Getty Images

Sirius XM Radio CEO (SIRI)

Value of options vesting in fourth quarter 2011: $39.9 million
Base salary: $1.5 million
Cash bonus: $8.4 million

A former Viacom (VIA) executive, Karmazin was awarded 120 million options in June 2009, thanks to an extension of his employment agreement at Sirius XM Radio. Since then, shares of the company have risen roughly 375 percent. His options partially vest each Dec. 31, and are set to fully vest after four years.