In a nutshell: Since Lisa Su took over as boss of AMD in 2014, the company has gone from the brink of bankruptcy to having the top-performing stock over the last two years. With such success comes rewards: Su is now the highest-paid executive in the Associated Press' annual survey of CEO compensation, earning $58.5 million in 2019.
In the annual analysis of executives' pay at companies in the S&P 500, which is compiled by the AP and Equilar, Su became the first woman to top the list. Her $58.5 million was almost $13 million more than the $45.8 million earned by second-place David Zaslav, the CEO of Discovery Inc.
Su’s pay—four times more than what she earned the previous year—was performance-based. Her compensation included $53 million in stock awards and $3 million in stock options. She also earned $1 million in base pay and $1.2 million in bonuses.
In the five years that Su’s been at the helm, AMD’s stock has gone from $3 to around $55.
Having long stood in the shadow of Intel’s CPU dominance, AMD has become a serious challenger to Chipzilla since the arrival of its Zen architecture. Surveys, Amazon top-seller lists, and even Linus Torvalds have all shown that the tide has turned for AMD, whose chips dominate our Best CPUs feature.
There were just 20 women on the list, versus 309 men. Su’s pay package was more than double the next highest-paid woman: Marilyn Hewson of Lockheed Martin, who earned $24.4 million. Business Insider writes that the median pay for woman on the list was $13.9 million, versus $12.3 million for men.
It’s worth noting that the list only includes CEOs who have held the position for two full years so to avoid sign-on bonuses being counted. As such, there were a couple of CEOs who earned even more than Su in 2019.