How Much Did Big Tech CEOs Earn in 2022?

Big Tech CEO compensation varies greatly in both base salary and stock awards. Here's how they did last year amid unprecedented market challenges.

Mark Zuckerberg against a blue background.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg didn’t receive any bonus in 2022. KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images

For the CEOs of Big Tech companies, namely Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT), Google (GOOGL) and Meta (META), 2022 was a remarkably challenging year marked by plummeting revenue, massive layoffs and a brutal macroeconomy. In light of the ongoing gloom over the tech sector, some CEOs have agreed to forgo bonuses or take a pay cut this year. Others saw the damage already reflected in their 2022 paychecks.

Big Tech CEO compensation last year varied wildly by company, from just over $1 million to upwards of $200 million, according to company proxy statements filed in recent months. The differences were just as dramatic when comparing with their pay in 2021. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, for example, saw his total pay drop by 99 percent last year to $1.3 million because he received no stock award. In contrast, Google CEO Sundar Pichai earned 36 times what he made in 2021, thanks to a huge equity payout worth more than $200 million.

With a total compensation of $226 million, Pichai was the highest-paid CEO among Big Tech companies last year, followed by Apple's Tim Cook, who earned $99.4 million. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made $55 million during the company's fiscal year, which ended on June 30, 2022. (All the other companies concluded their fiscal years on Dec. 31.) Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon's Jassy didn't receive any awards or bonuses in 2022 and made $27 million and $1.3 million, respectively.

What are the components of a CEO pay package?

A tech CEO's compensation typically consists of a base salary, cash and stock awards, and a category often shown as "others" on regulatory filings, which include benefit payments and reimbursements for personal security details. Because of their celebrity-like status, Big Tech CEOs often incur millions in annual expenses related to personal security from things like the use of bodyguards and private jets.

In 2022, Amazon CEO Jassy received nearly $1 million in security reimbursements, more than three times his base salary. Meta's Zuckerberg, who famously accepts a base salary of $1, cost his company about $27 million last year to ensure the safety of himself and his family at their residence and during travel.

For most CEOs, the largest portion of their compensation is stock awards, which are usually paid periodically under a multi-year plan or tied to performance. Stock awards also come with a vesting schedule that can span several years, meaning the recipient can't cash them all at once. But over time, equity holdings contribute to the majority of a CEO's wealth and make some of them among the richest people on Earth.

How Much Did Big Tech CEOs Earn in 2022?