Apple’s Peter Oppenheimer Leads CFO Pay

Apple’s CFO, Peter Oppenheimer

As CFOs continue to play a larger role that goes beyond just the finances, their paychecks grow to reflect the increase in responsibility. Though Apple’s stock has fallen approximately 42 percent from its historic high, CFO Peter Oppenheimer leads the paycheck scale with a package boasting $68.6 million. This is in line with the $66.2 million he received last year in stock awards. Compared to the $4.2 million Apple Chief Executive, Tim Cook, received in 2012, Apple’s willingness to pay its CFO top money is reflective of the ever-important role chief financial officers play today. The Apple CFO has been the highest paid of any S&P 500 company for the last three years. It is important to note, though, that Chief Executive Tim Cook did receive stock awards as well, which were valued at $376.2 million.

Top Companies Attract Top Financial Experts

According to the latest stats from the S&P, the median pay for CFOs in the top 500 companies climbed approximately 2 percent in the last year to $3.4 million. The year before, the annual growth rate was 2.1 percent. CEO paychecks also increased at a median rate of 3.6 percent.

While Apple is certainly providing an impressive package for its top management executives, they’re not the only company stressing the importance of the CFO. Coming in second place, Oracle paid its CFO $51.7 million, much of which resulted from extensive stock options. Though these figures are impressive, compensation experts are quick to note that pay increases for CFOs have actually been tepid for the last three years as a result of the recession. Google’s Patrick Pichette rounds out the top three with a package valued at approximately $38.7 million.

One of the most notable aspects of these three CFOs is the percentage of pay that resulted from their stock and option grants. Companies are increasingly tying stock awards to performance targets, encouraging high CFO performance. This shift toward paying for performance has altered base salaries for CFOs throughout the nation. However, CFOs still experienced a median 3.4% raise to $575,000, while bonuses saw a slight decrease.