The Equilar list looks at the 200 highest-paid CEOs among public companies worth $1 billion or more. About 170 had both 2013 and 2014 data available for total compensation and shareholder returns.
Read More For the highest-paid CEOs, the party goes on
The pay levels this year were the highest since the first Equilar study in April 2014, with Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav at the top of the list with $156.1 million in total compensation. Zaslav's compensation was up 368 percent since last year, even as the company lost shareholders 24 percent.
The lowest paid CEO in the top 200 was Christopher M. Crane of Exelon, who made $12.6 million, 20 percent less than the year before. Exelon's return was 40 percent over that period.
DISCLOSURE: Brian Roberts is the CEO of Comcast, parent company of CNBC.