Article: The highest-paid female CEO of 2021

Compensation & Benefits

The highest-paid female CEO of 2021

The highest-paid woman on this year’s list is Rosalind G. Brewer, the new CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance, who was awarded $28.3 million in 2021.
The highest-paid female CEO of 2021

Walgreens CEO Roz Brewer was the highest-paid female CEO in 2021, according to a new Equilar study.

The study looked at the top 100 companies by revenue that filed proxy statements for 2021 by March 31. Although some companies have yet to submit proxy filings, this information gives a first indication of the scale of pay difference for women in leadership roles.

There were nine female CEOs in that category this year, up from six the year before. However, there were no women among the top ten highest-paid CEOs.

The new CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance Rosalind G. Brewer was awarded $28.3 million in 2021. Brewer is also the 14th overall highest-paid CEO in this year’s study.

The Equilar 100 launched by Equilar –the provider of corporate leadership data solutions, is an annual study of the 100 largest U.S. companies by revenue that filed proxy statements for 2021 by March 31.

CEO pay bounces back strongly 

CEO pay soared in 2021 at the largest U.S. companies by revenue, according to the study.  

Intel's Patrick Gelsinger received $177.9 million in compensation last year. Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, came in second with a total remuneration package of $98.7 million.

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) were the next highest-paid executives.

CEO compensation looks to be on the upswing two years after the pandemic, according to the data. Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, many CEOs, saw salary cuts, bonus adjustments, and revisions to long-term incentive programmes (LTIPs), among other things.

Median total compensation soared to $20 million for Equilar 100 CEOs in 2021, representing a whopping 30.8% increase in pay among the same companies from 2020. 


While median salary and median perks increased incrementally, the largest jumps were examined in the form of cash bonuses and stock awards. From $8.6 million to $10.5 million in 2021, the median value of stock awards climbed by 22.7%. Cash bonuses, meanwhile, jumped by 46.4% from $2.8 million to $4.2 million in 2021.

The new data also shows that the salary gap between CEOs and their employees is expanding. Over the previous year, the CEO Pay Ratio - the ratio of CEO remuneration to median worker compensation – grew by 7%.

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Topics: Compensation & Benefits, Leadership

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