Larry Ellison's $84 Million Makes Him 2009's Highest-Paid CEO

Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, Highest paid CEO of 2009
Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, Highest paid CEO of 2009

It may not be big money by hedge-fund standards, but billionaire Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle (ORCL), made $84.5 million in total compensation in 2009, compared with $84.6 million in 2008, according to proxy material reviewed by The New York Times. His pay was substantially greater than the next three corporate heads on the list, according to the newspaper's annual list of highest-paid CEOs, which ranked 200 top executives at 199 companies (Motorola [MOT] has co-CEOs).

The firms had to have revenue of over $5.78 billion to make the list. The compensation calculation includes base pay, bonuses, perks, stock awards and options awards. Oracle's stock is up only 30% over the last year, compared to 50% for the Nasdaq, the exchange it trades on.

The second-highest paid executive on the list was a surprise: J Raymond Elliott, head of Boston Scientific (BSX), who made $33.4 million. Elliot wasn't the CEO in 2008, and a large fraction of his compensation probably reflects the level of incentive required to lure him to take the job. Boston Scientific has been battered by patent litigation and losses. Its shares were down 10% during the last year.

Ray Irani of Occidental Petroleum (OXY) made $31.4 million in 2009, up from $22.5 million the previous year. The company's shares were up 50% during the last year, slightly more than the Dow Jones Industrials Average.

The No. 4 CEO on the list, Mark Hurd of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) took a large pay cut to $22.4 million in 2009 from $34 million the year before. HP's stock was up 60% for the year, outperforming the Dow.