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10 CEOs Earn ‘Only’ $1 a Year assembled a list of 10 “big-time CEOs” who earn a base salary of just $1 a year. At a time when most CEOs are notorious for enormous pay packages (on average $10.5 million, according to Forbes), these 10 have opted for something less lofty. They do have one thing in common: all are entrepreneurial with all but one—Eddie Lampert—having founded a business. Yes, Virginia, founder-entrepreneurs do think differently than manager-CEOs.

John Mackey, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market

In a 2006 letter to employees, John Mackey announced he would slash his pay to $1, sell his stock portfolio to charity and set up a $100,000 emergency fund for staff facing personal problems. He wrote: “I am now 53 years old and I have reached a place in my life where I no longer want to work for money, but simply for the joy of the work itself and to better answer the call to service that I feel so clearly in my own heart.” Last year, Mackey earned $680 million in stock gains but no bonuses.

Larry Page, Co-Founder and CEO of Google

Last year, Larry Page earned absolutely nothing from his CEO salary at Google—except, for that $1, of course. His fortune from Google stock, however, ranks him as the 20th richest person in the world with a net worth of $23 billion. Interestingly, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and current Chairman/former CEO Eric Schmidt have at some point joined the dollar-a-year club. They are both billionaires as well.

Jeremy Stoppelman, Co-Founder and CEO of Yelp

Just last month, Jeremy Stoppelman announced he would slash his salary base to $1 for 2013. But the PayPal founder and entrepreneur is already worth a couple million dollars, and he has been granted company shares that should be worth $2 million in two years if Yelp stock manages to stay stable.

Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett-Packard

For her second consecutive year, Meg Whitman will earn a simple $1 salary, but yes, she’ll also take home a hefty bonus or two. The majority of her pay is instead tied to the company’s performance via stock awards and options. This pay package last year was somewhere in the neighborhood of $15 million. Also, she’s already worth $1.9 billion.

Mark Zuckerberg, Co-Founder and CEO of Facebook

Starting in 2013, Mark Zuckerberg’s salary will be reduced down to $1 a year. As one of the youngest billionaires ever (his net worth is $13.3 billion), he seems to be doing just fine.



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