Are 2013′s Highest Paid CEOs Worth the Money?

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Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

In the years following the Occupy Wall Street protests, there’s been an increased focus on executive compensation; the average U.S. company employs a CEO who makes more than 331 times what its typical employees are paid, and there’s a renewed focus on raising the minimum wage in Washington. So just how much are the top-paid CEOs taking home? And, more importantly, who are these people?

Previous data from Equilar and The New York Times suggested that Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had won the top spot in 2013 for the second year in a row, having taken home $96.1 million in 2013. But a recent Bloomberg report suggests that Charif Souki, CEO of Cheniere Energy Inc., may have overtaken him. Souki’s pay package totaled a whopping $142 million, making him the highest paid CEO in the country, with Ellison, HCA’s (Hospital Corporation of America) Richard Bracken, and Disney’s Bob Iger trailing behind him.

Cheniere Energy Inc. is Houston-based energy company which, according to Bloomberg, has seen thirty-fold increases since November 2009. It’s Cheniere’s executives who are primarily responsible for the gains; Cheniere’s management team successfully positioned the company to become the first to export liquefied natural gas from the U.S. shale boom. The company has performed more than five times better than the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index in the last twelve months, Bloomberg adds. For all these reasons, analysts say, Souki is absolutely worth the $142 million he was paid.

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