10 CEOs who took drastic pay cuts

Median CEO pay climbed 9% to $13.9 million last year, but some tech leaders saw their pay slashed.

CEO pay

Spectacular pay raises keep widening the gap between what CEOs earn and what average workers take home. But not all CEOs got a raise last year. We examined 62 tech CEOs’ compensation -- including salary, bonuses, stock awards, and perks -- and found 10 who took big cuts.

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Dick Costolo

Dick Costolo
CEO, Twitter

Dick Costolo’s compensation took the most extreme nosedive, percentage-wise. The Twitter CEO was paid $130,250 in 2013, down from $11.5 million the previous year -- a 99% plunge. In 2012, the bulk of his earnings came from stock and options awards. In 2013 (Twitter’s IPO year), he didn’t receive any additional stock awards or a bonus. In addition, Costolo’s annual salary was reduced to $14,000.

Dominic Orr

Dominic Orr
CEO, president and chairman, Aruba Networks

Dominic Orr received stock awards valued at $250,007 but no new option awards in 2013. A year earlier, he’d been granted stock awards valued at $6.5 million and option awards worth $2 million. His salary stayed flat at $400,000.

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg
CEO, Facebook

With a net worth of $28 billion or so, Mark Zuckerberg can afford to see his modest compensation slashed by more than half. In 2013, he received a $1 salary and $650,164 for costs related to personal use of private aircraft. His $650,165 tally is down 67% from a year earlier, when he received a $503,205 salary, $266,101 bonus and $1.2 million in airline perks.

William Brown

William Brown
CEO and president, Harris

The leader of telecommunications equipment company Harris saw his pay cut by more than half last year. William Brown received $14.3 million in 2012, the year he was hired, including a one-time $4.5 million sign-on bonus, $1 million performance-based bonus, and $8 million in stock and options awards. In 2013, his bonus pay decreased to $1 million and his equity awards were valued at $4.1 million. Brown’s total pay in 2013 was valued at $6.4 million, a decline of $7.9 million, or 55%.

Brian Krzanich

Brian Krzanich
CEO, Intel

Paul Otellini’s successor at Intel, Brian Krzanich, was appointed CEO in mid-2013. Krzanich, who was COO at Intel before becoming CEO, saw his total compensation drop by $6.3 million, or 40%, that year he took the reins. His salary increased (to $887,500 from $700,000) and his bonus also grew (to $1.9 million from $1.8 million). The drop in total pay was due to a decrease in equity awards. In 2013, Krzanich received stock and option awards valued at $6.6 million, compared to $13.2 million a year earlier. Krzanich’s total pay in 2013 was valued at $9.6 million.

Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer
CEO, Yahoo

Despite an $11.7 million pay cut, Marissa Mayer still managed to rank among the highest paid tech CEOs in the U.S. The top exec at Yahoo received a pay package valued at $24.9 million in 2013, down from $36.6 million a year earlier. Mayer’s 2013 pay included a $1 million salary (up from $454,862 in 2012), $1.7 million bonus (up from $1.1 million), and stock and option awards valued at $22.2 million (down from $35 million).

Jeff Storey

Jeff Storey
CEO and president, Level 3 Communications

A $3 million cut brought Jeff Storey’s pay down to $8 million in 2013 -- the year he ascended from the role of COO to CEO. His salary increased to $857,692 last year (up from $650,000 in 2012) and he earned $3 million in cash bonuses (up from $1.1 million). The drop in total pay was due to a decrease in equity awards. In 2013, Storey received stock and option awards valued at $4.1 million, compared to $9.2 million a year earlier.

Joe Tucci

Joe Tucci
CEO and chairman, EMC

Joe Tucci’s $1 million salary is unchanged from a year earlier, and his perks increased in value to $309,079 (up from $116,545 in 2012). A decline in equity awards accounts for the biggest loss in pay for EMC’s CEO, who has led the company for 13 years. Tucci’s stock and option awards were valued at $10.1 million last year, compared to $14 million in 2012. His bonus fell to $1.3 million, compared to $1.5 million in 2012. Tucci’s total pay in 2013 was valued at $12.6 million, a decline of 24% from the $16.6 million he received a year earlier.

Paul Ricci

Paul Ricci
CEO, Nuance

Paul Ricci, CEO of speech recognition company Nuance Communications, made 21% less in 2013 than he did the prior year, yet he still landed a pay package worth $29.2 million -- enough to be included in our ranking of top-paid tech CEOs. Ricci’s 2013 compensation included his $800,000 salary (virtually unchanged from 2012), $300,000 bonus (down from $1.2 million), stock awards valued at $27.9 million (down from $34.9 million), and $226,829 in perks and other compensation (up from $183,881).

Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison
CEO, Oracle

Like Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer and Nuance’s Paul Ricci, Larry Ellison appears on two of our lists: highest paid tech CEOs and most drastic CEO pay cuts. He’s the highest paid tech CEO with a 2013 package valued at $78.4 million. He also took the biggest pay cut by dollar amount -- a whopping $17.7 million loss -- among all the CEOs analyzed. The bulk of the pay cut is due to a decrease in the value of option awards granted, which fell to $76.9 million in 2013 compared to $90.7 million a year earlier. Ellison also declined a $1.2 million bonus; in 2012 he received a $4 million bonus.