CEOs who lead by example with annual salary of $1

March 20, 2017 5:10 pm

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zucherberg. (Image: Alamy)

* CEOs at the highest paying enterprises can earn 130 times the average salary of a worker

* Some global CEOs are practically working for free; making their wealth elsewhere

* Top CEO Conference and Awards celebrates high-achieving CEOs from across the region


Many top-level executives earn tremendous amounts of money, further widening the pay gap between themselves and ordinary workers. But this isn’t the case with very chief executive.

The Global Wage Report, released by the International Labour Organization few months ago, revealed that CEOs at the highest paying enterprises can earn 130 times the average salary of a worker; an alarming figure that further fuels the tensions between individuals belonging to different income levels.

Now in times of economic certainty, most schools of thought would call for decreasing the wealth gap between individuals and some CEOs are doing that in their own manner.

Here some of the most famous CEOs who take home a salary of precisely $1 per annum.


Mark Zuckerberg

When Facebook became a listed company in 2012, the annual salary of its founder and chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, was estimated at $500,000. After its successful IPO, Zuckerberg’s salary dropped to only $1 per annum.

He enjoys no employee bonuses either. But one must keep in mind that the founder of the world’s most popular social network is worth approximately $36.5 billion, thanks to a majority Facebook share of 61.6 per cent, which allows him to steer the company.


Larry Page and Sergey Brin

In 2004, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin announced that they are dropping their salaries to $1 per annum each. While the compensation committee at Google continues to make desirable financial offers to the two, these are always rejected; the successful partners also reject any performance bonuses.

Page’s wealth is estimated at $34.9 million and Brin’s at $34.3m and they both own a majority stake in the technology conglomerate now named Alphabet.


Jack Dorsey

The wealth of Twitter’s co-founder and CEO is estimated at $2.6 billion. The source of this is not his salary at the micro-blogging platform, but rather the shares he owns at Twitter and Square. Dorsey is also has a seat at Walt Disney’s executive board, where he also owns shares. However, this might all change, as a Twitter committee is assessing an appropriate salary of Twitter’s CEO, which Dorsey can accept or reject to continue to work “for free”.


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Middle East CEOs: Battling challenges

While all of the examples listed above represent CEOs from international brands, many businesses across the GCC are led by CEOs that are now up against tremendous challenges given the economic uncertainty, fast pace of change and other challenges that are unique to the region.


(Global execs positive, but Middle East CEOs cautious about 2017: Here’s why)


These challenges and more will be part of the discussions held at Top CEO Conference and Awards, set to be held on April 11 at the King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia.

Following a daylong conference filled with pressing discussions and leadership experiences, the region’s best performing CEOs will be awarded at the Top CEO Awards ceremony in the evening.


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AMEinfo Staff
By AMEinfo Staff
AMEinfo staff members report business news and views from across the Middle East and North Africa region, and analyse global events impacting the region today.