Last year was a bumper one for executive pay in the biggest US companies despite Covid-19, say Theo Francis and Inti Pacheco in The Wall Street Journal.

Median pay reached $13.4m for the CEO‘s of America’s benchmark S&P 500 index in 2020, setting a fifth straight annual record. Most bosses received at least 5% raises as their companies recorded annual shareholder returns of around 8%.

Seven CEOs were paid more than $50m, compared with two in 2019 and three the year before that. The best-paid tended to lead businesses that benefited from the pandemic.

Chad Richison, the founder of Paycom Software, was the highest-paid overall, taking home around $211m in total; he received $21m in 2019.

Video- games-maker Activision’s Robert Kotick received $155m, compared with $30m the previous year, and Leonard Schleifer of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals was paid $135m, 531% more than in 2019.


Kris Paterson is a writer for