Two Indian American executives make the list of top 10 highest-paid CEOs

Photo: Nikesh Arora, left, & Vivek Shah

Two Indian American executives have made it to the top 10 of the prestigious annual Equilar-New York Times 200 Highest-Paid CEOs list.

Among the top 10 grouping was Palo Alto Networks CEO Nikesh Arora and j2 Global CEO Vivek Shah, coming in at No. 3 and No. 10, respectively.

The Equilar 200 study, which analyzes the largest pay packages awarded to CEOs at US public companies with more than $1 billion in revenue, was topped by Tesla head Elon Musk.

Arora, according to the study, has a total compensation of $125,068,836. Shah has a total compensation of $45,062,153. Musk is valued at $2,284,044,884.

This edition of the Equilar 200 marks the 13th consecutive year of a partnership with The New York Times to analyze data on pay awards for the top CEOs, Equilar said in a news release.

This year’s study has a number of key highlights, including a pay package of over $2 billion and a median total return figure that is sure to turn some heads, the release said.

Arora has served as the chairman of the board of directors of Palo Alto Networks and CEO since June 2018. Prior to joining PAN, from 2016 through 2018, Arora was an angel investor; and from June 2016 through December 2017, Arora served as an advisor to SoftBank Group Corp., a multinational conglomerate company.

Arora holds an M.B.A. from Northeastern University, an M.S. in finance from Boston College, and a B.Tech in electrical engineering from the Institute of Technology at Banaras Hindu University.

Shah was elected to j2 Global's Board of Directors in January 2018, where he has also served as CEO, according to his biography.

Previously, he served as CEO of Ziff Davis, which j2 Global acquired in 2012. Prior to joining j2 Global, Shah led the purchase of Ziff Davis in 2010 in partnership with a private equity firm.

Shah has been named Online Publisher of the Year by MIN, Innovator of the Year by BtoB's Media Business and inducted into MIN's Digital Hall of Fame. He was also named to Crain's Forty under 40 list.

Shah has a B.A. in political science from Tufts University.

Also on the current list are these Indian American executives: Adobe head Shantanu Narayan at No. 25 ($28,397,528); Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at No. 36 ($25,843,263); MasterCard’s Ajay Banga at No. 77 ($20,379,353); and LyondellBasell Industries Bob Patel at No. 109 ($18,193,585).

Overall, the median pay for the 200 highest-paid CEOs was $18.6 million in the fiscal year 2018. Equilar 200 CEOs received a 16.4 percent pay raise at the median over the previous year in the fiscal year 2018.

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