Oracle's enterprise database and middleware business has been very, very good to Larry Ellison.
The Wall Street Journal reported July 26 based on an analysis of executive remuneration that Ellison, co-founder and longtime CEO of the world's second-largest software maker, ranked No. 1 on a list of highest-paid executives of public companies during the past decade.
During that time span, Ellison has received $1.84 billion in compensation, the Journal said-an average of $184 million per year. In comparison, the world's most highly compensated athlete, Tiger Woods, has averaged about $110 million per year in the last decade and $70 million per year over his first 13 years as a professional, according to research by Forbes and Sports Illustrated.
However, both Ellison and Woods are well behind entertainers such as Oprah Winfrey and Rush Limbaugh, who each make more than $300 million per year but do not run publicly held companies.
The Journal listed as No. 2 television producer Barry Diller, who received about $1.14 billion from IAC/Interactive and Expedia, the online travel site IAC spun off in 2005, where he currently serves as chairman. Occidental Petroleum CEO Ray Irani was third at $857 million.
Apple's Steve Jobs was No. 4 with $749 million, and in fifth place was Capital One Financial CEO Richard Fairbank at $569 million.
Jobs received all that compensation despite earning only $10 in salary during the last decade. His contract calls for $1 per year; stock holdings and other sources of income made up the rest.
Not surprisingly, four of the richest 25 CEOs worked at financial companies, according to the Journal. They are former Lehman Brothers CEO Richard Fuld (No. 11 with $457 million), former Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill (19th at $361 million), Fairbank of Capital One and former Countrywide Financial CEO Angelo Mozilo.
The Journal said its analysis is based on salaries, bonuses, perks and realized gains on both restricted stock and stock options; it excludes new grants of restricted stock and stock options.