The second-highest paid CEO in America last year was Discovery’s David Zaslav, who enjoyed a whopping 207% jump thanks to $102 million in stock options. Oracle co-CEOs Mark Hurd and Safra Catz also got just over $100 million in stock options, ranking them fourth on the list. The top earner received more than six times the total stock options earned by the next four people on the list. Let’s review the 2018 that earned him such a rich payday.

· In response to some pretty standard questions about his car company’s inability to make cars, this CEO decided to insult the questioners rather than answer such dry queries.

· Spent his time working on flamethrowers and pickup trucks and shooting cars into space instead of making cars that people have already paid for

· Didn’t launch his paying customers into space as promised, much like he shot a car into space instead of giving it to someone who’d paid for it already, before announcing new plans to send a different group of people into space at some point in the future

· Decided to try to make money by squeezing suppliers instead of making cars

· May or may not have made up a plan to take Tesla private, which he then teased on Twitter, which really pissed the SEC off, which led it to impose a babysitter on him (which didn’t work all the same)

· Became so erratic that the thing that most excited analysts were reports that he’d broken up with his girlfriend

· Amidst allegations that he liked to tweet potentially market-moving things while tripping balls, decided to go on a podcast with livestream video and get high

· Still isn’t making very many cars

Congratulations, Elon Musk. If that doesn’t sound like work worthy of a 4.5 million percent pay hike and $2.283 billion in stock options, we don’t know what does.

The Highest-Paid C.E.O.s of 2018: A Year So Lucrative, We Had to Redraw Our Chart [NYT]
It’s Never Been Easier to Be a C.E.O., and the Pay Keeps Rising [NYT]

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