Here's how much CEOs at Amazon, McDonald's, and 13 other lucrative brands earn compared to the typical worker

  • In 2017, the average CEOs of America's largest companies earned 312 times more than their typical worker, according to a report by the Economic Policy Institute.
  • Business Insider looked at reports by 15 major companies to see how much more they pay their CEOs than their typical worker. 
  • The CEO of McDonald's earned 3,101 times the median worker's salary in 2017.

CEOs made 20 times their median employee's salary in 1965. As of 2017, at America's largest companies, that multiple has jumped up to a shocking 312

And, at many companies, the CEO-to-worker compensation ratio is even higher. The CEO of McDonald's earned 3,101 times the median worker in 2017 ($21,761,052 versus $7,017). That's partially because McDonald's employs workers all over the world, where the cost of living is often lower than the US. 

But another reason for the jump in CEO compensation is a new perspective on how company earnings should be distributed. For the past few decades, as The New York Times reported, the majority of corporate profits have been going to corporate investors and chief executives, whose compensation is often based on stocks, or foreign mergers and acquisitions.

Meanwhile, proposals to up worker compensation are met with resistance from major shareholders. When American Airlines announced last year they would be giving raises to pilots and flight attendants, the company's stock tanked by 5.2% in one day.

In 2018, the public finally got to understand just how much more CEOs are paid than their workers. The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 requires, among other provisions, companies to disclose their company's CEO-to-worker compensation ratio. That part of the law came into effect this year. 

Here are 15 major employers and how their CEO's salary compares to their global median employee, ranked from the smallest difference to the biggest:

How much top CEOs earn compared to average workers
See Gallery
How much top CEOs earn compared to average workers

Twitter: CEO earned 0 times the median worker

Number of employees: 3,372

CEO compensation: $0

Median worker compensation: $161,860

Read Twitter's executive compensation report here

(REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis)

Alphabet: CEO earned 0.000005 times the median worker

Number of employees: 80,110

CEO compensation: $1

Median worker compensation: $197,274

Read Alphabet's executive compensation report here

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Amazon: CEO earned 59 times the median worker

Number of employees: 566,000

CEO compensation: $1,681,840

Median worker compensation: $28,446

Read Amazon's executive compensation report here

(Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

Kraft Heinz: CEO earned 91 times the median worker

Number of employees: 39,000

CEO compensation: $4,194,179

Median worker compensation: $46,006

Read Kraft Heinz's executive compensation report here

(REUTERS/Rick Wilking)

Netflix: CEO earned 133 times the median worker

Number of employees: 4,855

CEO compensation: $24,377,499

Median worker compensation: $183,304

Read Netflix's executive compensation report here

(REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier)

Microsoft: CEO earned 154 times the median worker

Number of employees: 131,000

CEO compensation: $25,843,263

Median worker compensation: $167,689

Read Microsoft's executive compensation report here

(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Intel: CEO earned 211 times the median worker

Number of employees: 102,700

CEO compensation: $21,544,700

Median worker compensation: $102,100

Read Intel's executive compensation report here

(Samyukta Lakshmi/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Caterpillar: CEO earned 213 times the median worker

Number of employees: 98,400

CEO compensation: $14,035,209

Median worker compensation: $65,770

Read Caterpillar's executive compensation report here

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

JPMorgan Chase: CEO earned 364 times the median worker

Number of employees: 252,539

CEO compensation: $28,320,175

Median worker compensation: $77,799

Read JPMorgan Chase's executive compensation report here

(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Johnson & Johnson: CEO earned 452 times the median worker

Number of employees: 134,000

CEO compensation: $29,802,564

Median worker compensation: $66,000

Read Johnson & Johnson's executive compensation report here

(Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Marathon Petroleum: CEO earned 935 times the median worker

Number of employees: 44,000

CEO compensation: $19,670,807

Median worker compensation (including part-time retail associates): $21,034

Read Marathon's executive compensation report here

(Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Skechers: CEO earned 1,512 times the median worker

Number of employees: 24,599

CEO compensation: $7,773,992

Median worker compensation (including part-time retail associates): $5,140

Read Skechers' executive compensation report here

(Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images)

Estée Lauder: CEO earned 1,690 times the median worker

Number of employees: 77,600

CEO compensation: $48,753,819

Median worker compensation: $28,845

The median worker at Estée Lauder is a retail associate located outside of the US.

Read Estée Lauder's executive compensation report here

(Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

McDonald's: CEO earned 3,101 times the median worker

Number of employees: 235,000

CEO compensation: $21,761,052

Median worker compensation: $7,017

The median worker at McDonald's is a part-time restaurant crew employee located in Poland.

Read McDonald's executive compensation report here

(Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images)

Mattel: CEO earned 4,987 times the median worker

Number of employees: 35,280

CEO compensation: $31,275,289

Median worker compensation: $6,271

The median worker at Mattel works at the company's Malaysian manufacturing facility, where "pay and wage rates are dramatically lower."

Read Mattel's executive compensation report here

(Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)


See Also:

Read Full Story