Best paid CEOs take home millions, despite market decline


Even though stock prices have plummeted and staff cuts are prevalent, the 10 best paid CEOs still took home millions in compensation in 2008, predominantly in stock options and grants, according to an analysis by The top earner was Sanjay Jha, CEO of Motorola (MOT), who took home a total pay package of $104.5 million; the lowest of the top 10, who got "just" $25.6 million, was A.G. Lafley, CEO of Procter & Gamble (PG).

But the two who might inspire the greatest shock and maybe anger, given how many billions of dollars their companies took in bailout funds, are Kenneth Chenault, CEO of American Express (AXP), whose total compensation was $42.8 million, and Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citigroup (C), whose total compensation was $38.2 million. Congress needs to act quickly to be sure they don't see compensation near these levels again until they pay back the government bailout funds.