A big year for CEO pay

CEO compensation surged at many S&P 500 companies in 2023, marking a significant rebound from the prior year's tepid growth, according to early findings from The Wall Street Journal.

The Journal is set to release its full annual analysis and ranking of S&P 500 CEO pay this spring. The outlet shared early findings that the median CEO compensation at 187 of those large companies hit $15.6 million in 2023, up from about $14.1 million for the same companies in 2022. 

About 130 CEOs in the analysis received bigger pay packages in 2023 than the year prior; about 55 CEOs saw smaller payouts. The pay lifts are attributed in large part to a healthy stock market, with the S&P 500 index cinching a 24% gain for 2023. 

Or, as the Journal put it: "Driving that growth: awards of restricted stock and stock options that rose with their companies' share prices — and faster, in some cases." 

Of the 20 top-paid CEOs so far, eight lead tech companies and seven head financial companies, though the Journal did not further specify them by name.  

Ahead of the 2023 compensation ranking, find healthcare's top-paid S&P CEOs by their 2022 total compensation here.

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