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Bay Area execs harvested handsome paydays in 2018: government docs

Tesla top boss Elon Musk may be the Bay Area’s $2 billion man for compensation, but Musk was among several Bay Area executives who dominated the list of American executives receiving big-time paydays during 2018.
Musk, chief executive officer of Tesla, was awarded $2.29 billion in total direct compensation during fiscal 2018, according to a regulatory document on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Overall, Bay Area executives dominated the top of the nationwide list.
A survey conducted Friday by this news organization, combined with the results of a survey by executive compensation expert Equliar, determined that five of the 10 most highly paid top executives in the nation were employed by Bay Area tech companies.
The head-spinning payday for Musk was driven primarily by $2.28 billion in stock options that he was granted during 2018, the SEC files show. Musk also received a relatively paltry $56,000 in a base salary, which was up 12.9 percent from his base salary in 2017.
The stock options that are stacked up to enrich Musk are anything but a guarantee, however. The value of the options ultimately depends on how Tesla performs over a 10-year period during which the stock package would vest in increments.
An Equilar survey conducted for the New York Times revealed that Musk’s total direct pay towered high above the next most richly rewarded executive for an American corporation. No. 2 on the Equilar list was David Zaslav, chief executive officer of television network Discovery, with a 2018 payday of $129.5 million.
Among Bay Area bosses of publicly held companies based in the Bay Area, Palo Alto Networks Chief Executive Officer Nikesh Arora; and Oracle executives Lawrence Ellison, Safra Catz, and Mark Hurd joined Musk in the top 10 nationwide.
Arora, CEO of Santa Clara-based Palo Alto Networks, grabbed $125.1 million in total direct compensation, SEC documents show. A grant of $65 million in stock options and $59.7 million in awards of stock were the primary vehicles Palo Alto Networks used to enrich Arora.
Oracle chief technology officer Ellison grabbed $108.9 million in total direct compensation, bolstered greatly by $103.9 million in stock options; Oracle CEO Catz received $108.3 million in total pay, including $103.7 million in stock options; and Oracle CEO Hurd captured $108.3 million in total direct compensation, including $103.7 million in stock options, according to the SEC filings.
San Jose-based Align Technology awarded Joseph Hogan, its chief executive officer, $41.8 million in total direct compensation, including $36.8 million in awards of stock.
PayPal of San Jose rewarded Chief Executive Officer Daniel Schulman $37.8 million in total pay, bolstered primarily by $35.3 million in awards of stock.
Los Gatos-based Netflix granted CEO Reed Hastings $36.1 million in total direct compensation, fueled mainly by a stock option package valued at $35.4 million.
San Jose-based Adobe granted Shantanu Narayen, the chief executive officer, $28.4 million in total pay, including $25.5 million in awards of stock.
San Francisco-based Salesforce rewarded co-CEO Marc Benioff with $28.4 million in total compensation, including $13.5 million in awards of stock and $9 million in stock options.
The non-tech company with the highest paid executive in the Bay Area was Williams Sonoma, whose CEO Laura Alber captured $27.3 million in total pay, including $22 million in stock awards.
Another notable CEO in the upper echelons of well-paid top bosses: Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Menlo Park-based Facebook, harvested $22.6 million in total pay — driven primarily by Facebook’s payments for personal security and private aircraft used by the leader of the social network.
 

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