The 10 Highest Paid CFOs in the United States

Anthony Noto

The average annual salary for a Chief Financial Officer in the U.S. is approximately $122k, a six figure compensation, making it a very lucrative profession. With some bonuses reaching up to $66,000 and certain profit dividend proceeds nearing $45,000, overall incomes can range from $67,000 to $252,000 based on individual performance. While this group is affected by location and years of experience, the company is the biggest motivational factor. Most CFOs receive medical benefits and dental coverage, which means job satisfaction is extremely high. According to surveys, men are the most dominant in the CFO department, making up to 66 percent representation.

The main work of a CFO is to oversee the company’s financial operations and offer leadership to finance and accounting departments to ensure that they are running efficiently and are in line with company policies and applicable laws. They are needed to project a favorable image of the company while finding useful ways to save money. Chief financial officers may oversee departments that are involved in accounts payable/receivable, debt management, tax, investments, pricing, and purchasing. They are also responsible for overseeing and recording all related transactions in databases or books. This information is later presented to upper management in form of reports, which means strong presentation and public speaking skills are extremely beneficial.

With that in mind, here are the 10 highest paid CFOs in the country.

10. David C. Shiels – Williams Partners – $16,863,687

Shiels was awarded the responsibility of the chief financial officer of Williams Partners in January 2010. Prior to his current position, he spent thirteen years in different regional CFO roles with General Electric subsidiaries, most recently as the CFO of GE Security Americas. In 2014, Shiels received a staggering $431,776 salary, in addition to a $608,550 bonus and $600,055 restricted stock awards. He was also given a $15,012,398 compensation for a non-equity incentive plan and “other” compensation amounting to $210,908.

9. Glen C. Warren Jr – Antero Midstream Partners – $18,262,368

Apart from being the CFO of Midstream Management, Warren Jr. has been serving as the president and secretary of this lucrative company since January 2014. Previously, he worked for Pennaco Energy as the CFO, EVP, and Director; Kidder, Peabody & Co and Dillons Read & Co. Inc. as a natural resources investment banker in the M&A advisory and equity & debt financing departments. Most of his salary came from restricted stock awards that amounted to $17,051,968. In addition to this, he received a $600,000 base salary and $600,000 bonus, as well as “other” compensation valued at $10,400.

8. Michael J. Angelakis – Comcast (former Vice Chairman and CFO) – $18,874,452

Before leaving Comcast to serve as the CEO and chairman of his new strategic company, Angelakis had been working for Comcast as the chief financial officer for five years. What’s more, he is also a member of the board of directors of the FRBP (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia). In 2014, he received a base salary of $1,759,331, restricted stock awards amounting to $4,475,224, as well as $3,812,724 worth of option awards. Apart from this, he also received a non-equity incentive plan of about $5,541,892 and $3,285,263 in “other” compensation.

7. Harvey M. Schwartz- Goldman Sachs Group – $20,177,797

Schwartz has been serving as Goldman Sachs’ CFO since January 2013. However, he has been working with the company for eighteen years, when he joined as the vice president before being promoted to managing director in 1999. He became a partner in 2002. A lion’s share of his compensation, like most of the CFOs on this list, came from bonuses and restricted stocks. Schwartz received a base salary of $1,850,000 and $6,716,667 bonus. This was boosted by $11,394,315 worth of restricted stock and $216,816 for “other” compensation.

6. Warren C. Jenson – Acxiom – $26,900,457

Apart from being the CFO at Acxiom, Jenson also serves as the executive vice president of the company and president of Acxiom International. He has been working with Acxiom since 2012. His previous jobs included COO of Silver Spring Networks, and CFO of Electronic Arts Inc. In 2014, his compensation consisted of a $511,250 base salary and $25,500,057 worth of restricted stock awards. In addition, he was given $340,000 compensation for non-equity incentive plan and $510,525 in terms of option awards. His “other” compensation for the year reached $38,625.

5. Howard Schiller- Valeant Pharmaceuticals – $27,112,617

Schiller joined Valeant Pharmaceuticals in December 2011 as the company CFO before retiring in June 2015. Before joining the company, he had 24 years experience at Goldman Sachs, his main responsibility being management and strategy. In 2014, he received a whopping $27,112,617 compensation, which included a$953,846 base salary and $23,730,659 worth of restricted stock awards. He also received non- equity incentive plan compensation worth $2,400,000 and “other” compensation totaling $28,112.

4. Grayson T. Lisenby – Rice Energy – $28,872,714

With just twenty nine years in his birth certificate, Lisenby has been serving as the CFO and vice president of Rice Energy since 2013 and 2015 respectively. Before that, he worked at Natural Gas Partners as an investment professional. He has also worked for Barclays Capital Inc. as an investment banker. His compensation included $350,462 base salary, non-equity incentive plan compensation of $493,120, and restricted stock awards valued a little over $28 million.

3. Safra Ada Catz – Oracle – $37,666,750

Catz took over as the president of Oracle in January 2004, and then extended her role to CFO in April 2011. She served as an interim CFO for the company between November 2005 and September 2008, as well as between April 2005 & July 2005. All in all, Catz has about 17 years record with Oracle. Her compensation in 2014 included a base salary of $950,000, option awards valued at about $36 million, and non-equity incentive plan compensation translating to approximately $456,236.

2. Patrick Pichette –Google – $43,757,484

Pichette had been the CFO and senior vice president for Google since August 2008 before retiring in May 2015. His position was filled by Ruth Porat, a Morgan Stanley banker. Before joining Google, Pichette worked for Bell Canada Enterprises a an executive officer. His base salary amounted to just $650,000, but he received $3 million bonus plus $40 million worth of restricted stock. Furthermore, he was given $72.7 million as compensation for his tenure at Google.

1. Anthony Noto – Twitter – $72,768,098

Noto took over the CFO role at Twitter in August 2014. Before that, he worked as the managing director for the popular social network. His massive compensation package, which amounted to a breathtaking $72,768,098, made him the highest paid chief financial officer in the U.S. While his base salary amounted to a mere $124,038, he was also given $9,545,000 as option awards and $63,075,000 for restricted stock awards. The rest of the money ($25,060) came from “other” compensation.

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