The five highest-paid men in the world, which include CEOs of Yahoo and United Technologies, earned $692.4 million last year. Whereas, the top five earning women in the world which include CEOs of eBay, Avon and Morgan Stanley, earned just $103.8 million last year. Not surprisingly, the top earner on the list of both the male and female CEOs is employed by an IT company involved in Internet business.
According to Forbes, Terry S Semel, CEO of Yahoo Inc, is the worlds highest-paid CEO with a total compensation of $230.6 million last year. But the difference shows clearly in top positions, within the same industry as well. Meg Whitman, CEO of eBay, is the highest paid and most powerful businesswoman in the world, according to the Fortune rankings released this week. But Ms Whitman earned just $29.9 million, 67% less than her counterpart in a rival Internet company.
It would be pertinent to point out here that investors value eBay more than Yahoo as on date. The market cap of eBay on Nasdaq is $ 6.5 billion more than Yahoos $ 61.17 billion. The stock is also priced higher on the Nasdaq. The figures come as a shock, especially since the corporate world keeps on harping on equal compensation regardless of gender. Total compensation here includes salary, bonus and other compensation, which includes vested restricted stock grants and stock gains.
But if one looks at the story of Indians heading global firms, the story seems to be opposite. President of PepsiCo Inc Indra Nooyi, voted this week as the most powerful Indian businesswoman by Fortune, is the highest-paid Indian woman. Ms Nooyi earned $22.5 million last year. Meanwhile, Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin, the highest-paid Indian CEO of a global firm, collected $13.24 million in 2004.
Indias highest-paid non-promoter executive, ex-CEO of Wipro, Vivek Paul, had a package of $1.2 million in 2004. Amongst promoter executives, Brijmohan Lall Munjal of Hero Honda topped the list last year, with a compensation package of $2.53 million last year.