Roz Brewer Was the Highest-Paid Female CEO in 2021, Says a New Report

Published: April 20, 2022
Updated: April 20, 2022
Roz Brewer Highest-Paid Female CEO
Roz Brewer Was the Highest-Paid Female CEO

Roz Brewer Was the Highest-Paid Female CEO


According to a new Equilar study, Walgreens CEO Roz Brewer will be the highest-paid female chief executive in 2021. Roz Brewer received $28.3 million in compensation, including $20.2 million in inventory awards.

Equilar’s research looked at the 100 largest corporations by revenue that filed proxy statements for 2021 by March 31. Though some corporations have yet to submit proxy statements, this new information provides an early look at how things are shaping up for women at the top.

There were nine female CEOs in that group, up from six in the same period the previous year. However, there have been no female CEOs among the top ten highest-paid executives in total.

Intel’s Patrick Gelsinger received $177.9 million in compensation last year, nearly $170 million of which was in inventory and choice awards. Apple CEO Tim Cook came in second place with a total compensation package of $98.7 million, $82.3 million of which was in stock awards.

Broadcom CEO Hock Tan ($60.7 million), Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella ($49.9 million), Charter Communications CEO Tom Rutledge ($41.8 million), and Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon ($39.5 million) had all adopted them.

Roz Brewer, the CEO of Walgreens, was the 14th highest-paid chief executive.

Here’s how the other women on the list fared, taking into account stock and choice awards as well as wage for the total pay package: #15: UPS CEO Carol Tome ($27.6 million), #24: General Dynamics CEO Phebe Novakovic ($23.6 million), #29: Accenture CEO Julie Sweet ($23.1 million), #45: Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser ($20.5 million), #64: Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good ($20.5 million) (16.2 million) Susan Griffith, 78th Progressive CEO (14.5 million) Vicki Hollub, CEO of Occidental Petroleum, was ranked 85th ($11.1 million) and Safra Katz, CEO of Oracle, was ranked 87th ($10.6 million).

“It’s disheartening to see how underrepresented women are at the top of the income scale and how overrepresented they continue to be at the bottom,” said Sarah Anderson, a government compensation expert at the progressive think tank Institute for Policy Studies.

Big picture, new data show that CEO pay is surging again after a period of pandemic declines. Companies rewarded leaders who reacted quickly and guided their organizations through pandemic turbulence and rising employee unrest. A roaring stock market boosted the value of chief executives’ stock-based compensation even more.

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According to the information available, Apple CEO Tim Cook’s pay increased 569 percent between 2020 and 2021. (Because Intel CEO Gelsinger took over in 2021, there are no 12 months over 12 months comparability.) The median total compensation for chief executives increased 30.8 percent from 2020 to $20 million in 2021.

The new information also reveals a growing pay disparity between firm executives and their workforces. The CEO Pay Ratio – the ratio of CEO compensation to median employee compensation – increased by 7% in the previous year.

Roz Brewer Was the Highest-Paid Female CEO

“They really just let loose in 2021 and were focused on keeping their executives happy rather than worrying as much about what was going on on the worker end,” Anderson explained. “It’s not going to be good for the bottom line in the long run, and even in the short run.”

In 2021, CEOs earned $254 for every $1 earned by the average employee.

Staff median pay increased from $68,883 in 2020 to $71,869 in 2021, a 4.3 percent increase that fell short of keeping up with rapidly rising inflation.

“We’re seeing that the benefits of skyrocketing corporate profits – the benefits of that – have been funnelled up to the top of the corporate ladder, while workers, many of whom are on the frontlines of the crisis, have not been reaping the rewards,” Anderson said.

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