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Meet the Indian-origin tech CEO in the US who earns more than Sundar Pichai and Satya Nadella

Leading one of the world’s top technology companies does not guarantee that you are the highest earning CEO. A report has listed the top 10 CEOs on the basis of Compensation Actually Paid (CAP) to them. The list also has only one Indian-origin CEO – and it’s neither Microsoft chief Satya Nadella nor Google’s top executive Sundar Pichai.
Nikesh Arora, chairman and chief executive officer of Palo Alto Networks, stands as the sole Silicon Valley executive of Indian descent to be included on the list of the ten highest-paid CEOs in the US, according to a report from C-Suite Comp.
Interestingly, Pichai and Nadella did not make it to the list despite their companies’ stellar performance with AI boost.

C-Suite Comp 2024: Top 10 CEO CAP

The list shows two matrices: “Disclosed total compensation” in 2023 and “compensation actually paid.” Arora’s disclosed total compensation was over $151.4 million in 2023, and he is placed on the 10th spot in the list with a total compensation actually paid of over $266.4 million.
Arora is an alumnus of Delhi’s Air Force Public School and was Google’s chief business officer. After leaving Google in 2014, he led SoftBank in Japan and since 2018, he’s been steering Palo Alto Networks, a cybersecurity firm.
The list is topped by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who earned over $1.4 billion in 2023. Alexander Karp of Palantir Technologies earned over $1.1 billion. Here’s the full list:

Rank Name Company Compensation
1 Elon Musk Tesla 1.4 billion
2 Alexander Karp Palantir Technologies 1.1 billion
3 Hock Tan Broadcom 767.7 million
4 Brian Armstrong Coinbase Global 680.9 million
5 Safra Catz Oracle 304.1 million
6 Brian Chesky Airbnb 303.5 million
7 Jon Winkelried TPG 295.1 million
8 Jeff Green Trade Desk 291.7 million
9 Adam Foroughi Applovin 271.3 million
10 Nikesh Arora Palo Alto Networks 266.4 million

Nikesh Arora secured second spot on The Wall Street Journal’s 2023 list

Arora secured the number two spot on The Wall Street Journal’s 2023 list of highest-paid CEOs in the US with total compensation reaching $151.43 million, primarily from stock options.
The report highlighted the strong presence of Indian-descent executives among high earners with 17 making it to the top 500. Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen – another Indian-origin executive – followed at number 11 with $44.93 million.
Musk and Pichai (also India-born) opted for non-traditional compensation structures in 2023 with Musk receiving no reported compensation and Pichai earning $8.80 million. Meanwhile, Facebook co-founder and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg brought in $24.40 million.

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