A comprehensive article on CEO compensation
compiled by financial site Forbes.com has calculated and compared performance and pay for the CEOs of America's 500 biggest companies, as measured by a composite ranking of sales, profits, assets and market value. In the process, it has revealed that EA CEO Larry Probst took home $12.59 million in total compensation (including non-salary items such as stock) during 2005, and over the past five years has pocketed a healthy $81.76 million.
This puts Probst, who has been with EA for 22 years, and has served as the CEO of the last 15 years, as the #114 highest paid executive on the list of 500. Interestingly, Probst ranks particularly highly on the calculation of performance vs. pay, coming out as #30 of the 189 CEOs able to be ranked that way, thanks to EA's 6-year annual total return to shareholders of 23%, over 20 percent better than the industry as a whole.
According to Forbes: "The average paycheck for last year for each boss works out to $10.9 million. For the group of 500 as a whole, aggregate stock gains accounted for 51% of total compensation, versus 53% a year ago. The average boss realized $5.6 million from exercising options last year."
Overall, the survey indicates that individuals serving as the chief executives within America's top 500 companies were paid $5.4 billion in 2005, and were awarded a collective 6 percent pay increase, down from an astonishing 54 percent increase the previous year. Since many of the major game companies in the U.S. are either not large enough to figure in the top 500 companies, or are headquartered outside the U.S., no further game-related CEOs featured on the survey.