Top 30 richest CEOs in the world: Who is the highest-paid?

Top 30 richest CEOs in the world: Who is the highest-paid?

Getting to be appointed a CEO of a big company means you bring onboard exceptional talent and experience. In some cases, the richest CEOs in the world happen to be founders of their own companies, which started small and turned into success stories. CEOs are the ones who carry a company's vision, and for that reason, they are paid a lot more than other employees.

richest CEOs
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives for the 8th annual Breakthrough Prize awards ceremony at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. Photo: Josh Edelson
Source: Getty Images

The highest-paid CEOs in the world are highly sought after because they can turn around the fortunes of any company. They have helped their companies expand beyond national borders to become global magnates. Such individuals don't adhere to any rules but have their unique ways of running a company.

Richest CEOs in the world

A CEO's salary cannot be the same as other employees for obvious reasons. Apart from being the boss, a CEO steers the company in the direction it needs to head. So who is the richest CEO in the world?

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1. Elon Musk - $199 billion

richest CEOs
Elon Musk attends TIME Person of the Year in New York City. Photo: Theo Wargo
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 20 June 1971
  • Company: SpaceX, Tesla, Inc.
  • Net worth: $199 billion
  • Partner: Grimes (2018-2022)

Musk is a South African-born Canadian-American entrepreneur and business magnate who is the highest-paid CEO in the world. He is the CEO and CTO of SpaceX and the CEO of Tesla Motors. In addition, he has founded many other companies and holds several titles, such as chairman of SolarCity and founder of The Boring Company.

2. Jeff Bezos - 168 billion

richest CEOs
Jeff Bezos attends the Baby2Baby 10-Year Gala presented by Paul Mitchell at Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, California. Photo: Emma McIntyre
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 12 January 1964
  • Company: Amazon
  • Net worth: 168 billion
  • Partner: Lauren Sanchez

Jeff Bezos is the founder, executive chairman and former CEO and president of Amazon, a multinational technology company that deals with e-commerce, digital streaming, cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

He is the second richest person in the world as of 2022. Apart from being an entrepreneur, he is an investor, media proprietor, commercial astronaut, and computer engineer.

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3. Steve Ballmer - $101 billion

richest CEOs
Former Microsoft CEO & LA Clippers owner Steve Ballmer visits "Your World With Neil Cavuto" on at FOX Business Studios in New York, United States. Photo: Steven Ferdman
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 24 March 1956
  • Company: Microsoft, Los Angeles Clippers
  • Net worth: $101 billion
  • Partner: Connie Snyder

Ballmer is an American business magnate and investor best known as the former CEO of Microsoft (2000-2014). During his time in the company, he was one of the highest-paid CEOs in America. Today, he owns the Los Angeles Clippers of the NBA. He is the eighth richest person in the world.

4. Mark Zuckerberg - $75 billion

richest CEOs
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a panel talk at the 2020 Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Munich, Germany. Photo: Johannes Simon
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 14 May 1984
  • Company: Meta Platforms (Formerly Facebook, Inc.)
  • Net worth: $75 billion
  • Partner: Priscilla Chan

Media magnate, entrepreneur and philanthropist Mark Zuckerberg is the founder and CEO of Facebook and its parent company, Meta Platforms. Thanks to the popularity of Facebook, he is among the highest-paid CEOs in the world.

5. Phil Knight - $63 billion

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richest CEOs
Phil Knight, chairman and co-founder of Nike Inc., speaks during a panel discussion at the Brookings Institution in Washington. Photo: Andrew Harrer
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 24 February 1938
  • Company: Nike, Inc.
  • Net worth: $63 billion
  • Partner: Penelope Knight

The American business guru founded Nike, Inc. and served as its chairman and CEO. He also owns a film production company known as Laika. In addition, Knight has donated more than $2 billion to his alma maters as a philanthropist.

6. Jack Ma - $50 billion

richest CEOs
Founder of Alibaba Group Jack Ma gives a speech at the 'Ma Yun Rural Teachers and Headmasters Prize' in Sanya , Hainan province, China. Photo: W*ng HE
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 10 September 1964
  • Company: Alibaba Group
  • Net worth: $50 billion
  • Partner: Zhang Ying

Ma is a Chinese businessman and investor who is the co-founder and former CEO of the Alibaba Group. He is also a co-founder of a private equity firm named Yunfeng Capital. He retired from Alibaba in 2018 to focus on philanthropy, environmental causes and educational work.

7. Leonardo Del Vecchio - $33 billion

richest CEOs
Leonardo Maria Del Vecchio attends the Tribeca Festival Awards Night during the 2021 Tribeca Festival at Spring Studios in New York City. Photo: Dia Dipasupil
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 22 May 1935
  • Company: Luxottica
  • Net worth: $33 billion
  • Partner: (Unknown)

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He is an Italian businessman who founded Luxottica, for which he acts as the CEO. His company is the largest producer and retailer of glasses and frames. He is the second richest man in Italy.

8. Michael Dell - $30 billion

richest CEOs
Michael Dell attends Decades Not Days: Investing & Entrepreneurship during the 2022 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Hilton Austin in Austin, Texas. Photo: Diego Donamaria
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 23 February 1965
  • Company: Dell Technologies
  • Net worth: $30 billion
  • Partner: Susan Lynn Lieberman

Michael Dell is the founder, chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies. It is among the largest technology infrastructure companies in the world. As of 2022, Michael Dell is the 20th richest person on the planet.

9. Eric Schmidt - $28 billion

richest CEOs
Eric Schmidt participates in a panel discussion during the annual Milken Institute Global Conference at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. Photo: Michael Kovac
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 27 April 1955
  • Company: Google
  • Net worth: $28 billion
  • Partner: Wendy Boyle

He is a software engineer and businessman known for having been the CEO of Google from 2001 to 2011. That alone puts him on the list of highest-paid CEOs in America. From 2011 to 2015, he was chairman of Google and executive chairman of Alphabet Inc. in 2015 and 2017.

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10. Rupert Murdoch - $20 billion

richest CEOs
Rupert Murdoch arrives for the morning sessions during the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S. Photo: David Paul Morris
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 11 March 1931
  • Company: News Corporation
  • Net worth: $20 billion
  • Partner: Jerry Hall

Murdoch is an Australian-American oligarch, investor and media tycoon. He is the owner of the News Corporation Company, which has hundreds of local, national and international publishing outlets.

These include UK's The Sun and The Times, Australia’s The Daily Telegraph, The Australian and Herald Sun, and US’ New York Post and The Wall Street Journal.

11. Ernesto Bertarelli - $15 billion

richest CEOs
Ernesto Bertarelli of Alinghi Red Bull Racing seen during the press conference announcing the entry to the 37th Americas Cup in Geneva, Switzerland. Photo: Samo Vidic
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 22 September 1965
  • Company: Waypoint Capital Group
  • Net worth: $15 billion
  • Partner: Kirsty Roper (Divorced 2021)

Ernesto Bertarelli is the chairman of the Waypoint Capital Group and the co-chair of the Bertarelli Foundation. He was CEO of Serono pharmaceutical company, but the family sold it in 2007 for $13.3 billion. After that, he became a board director of UBS AG.

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12. Dhanin Chearavanont - $12.1 billion

richest CEOs
Dhanin Chearavanont, chairman of Charoen Pokphand Group, speaks during the Belt and Road Summit in Hong Kong, China. Photo: Anthony Kwan
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 19 April 1939
  • Company: CP Group
  • Net worth: $12.1 billion
  • Partner: Thewi Chearavanont

Dhanin is a Thai businessman who is the senior chairman of Charoen Pokphand Group. It is the largest private company in Thailand. The Chearavanont Brothers are the wealthiest in Thailand.

13. Ananda Krishnan - $11.8 billion

richest CEOs
Ananda Krishnan, deputy chairman of Klcc Holdings BHD, arrives for the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. Photo: David Paul Morris
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 1 April 1938
  • Company: PanOcean Management Ltd
  • Net worth: $11.8 billion
  • Partner: Unknown

He is a Malaysian businessman who serves as the chairman of Usaha Tegas Sdn Bhd. He is also the founder of the Yu Cai Foundation. Ananda is the third-wealthiest person in Malaysia. His business interests range from media, oil and gas, and satellite to telecommunications.

14. Steve Jobs - $10.2 billion

richest CEOs
Apple CEO Steve Jobs speaks during an Apple special event in Cupertino, California. Jobs announced the new iPhone OS4 software. Photo: Justin Sullivan
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 24 February 1955
  • Company: Apple
  • Net worth: $10.2 billion
  • Partner: Laurene Powell

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Jobs was the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple before his death in 2011. He was also the founder of Pixar and a member of The Walt Disney Company's board of directors. He is also associated with NeXt, for which he was CEO and founder.

15. Charles Ergen - $10 billion

richest CEOs
Charles "Charlie" Ergen, chairman and co-founder of Dish Network Corp., speaks during a House communications and technology subcommittee hearing in Washington. Photo: Andrew Harrer
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 1 March 1953
  • Company: Dish Network/ EchoStar
  • Net worth: $10 billion
  • Partner: Candy Ergen

Ergen is the co-founder and chairman of Dish Network as well as EchoStar. His business journey started in 1980 when he teamed up with his future wife Candy and Jim DeFranco, and they founded EchSphere Corporation.

16. Marc Benioff - $9.7 billion

richest CEOs
Salesforce Chairman & Co-CEO Marc Benioff speaks onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2019 at Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California. Photo: Steve Jennings
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 25 September 1964
  • Company: Salesforce
  • Net worth: $9.7 billion
  • Partner: Lynne Krilich

Billionaire Benioff is the owner of Time magazine and the co-founder, chairman, and co-CEO of Salesforce. It is an enterprise cloud computing company that offers software as a service.

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17. Galen Weston - $9 billion

richest CEOs
Galen G. Weston, during the company's annual meeting of shareholders of Loblaw Companies Limited at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. Photo: Andrew Francis Wallace
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 29 October 1940
  • Company: George Weston Limited
  • Net worth: $9 billion
  • Partner: Hilary Frayne

Galen Weston is Canada’s richest CEO. The businessman serves as the Chairman Emeritus of George Weston Limited. The company deals with food processing and distribution.

18. John Malone - $9 billion

richest CEOs
Liberty Media's John Malone attends the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California. Photo: Michael Kovac
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 7 March 1941
  • Company: Liberty Media, Liberty Global, Qurate Retail Group
  • Net worth: $9 billion
  • Partner: Leslie Malone

He is a billionaire businessman, philanthropist and landowner. He served as CEO of Telecommunications Inc. for 24 years, from 1973 to 1996. He is the current chairman of Liberty Media, Qurate Retail Group, and Liberty Global.

19. Shahid Khan - $9 billion

richest CEOs
Shad Khan speaks to the media during a press conference introducing Doug Pederson as the new Head Coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Stadium. Photo: James Gilbert
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 18 July 1950
  • Company: Flex-N-Gate
  • Net worth: $9 billion
  • Partner: Ann Carlson Khan

Mr Khan is a Pakistani-American businessman and sports tycoon. He owns Flex-N-Gate, which is an American automotive company. Other companies he owns include Fulham FC of the EFL, Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL, and All Elite Wrestling.

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20. Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen - $8.6 billion

richest CEOs
Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen attends a ribbon cutting ceremony ahead of a media preview of the Lego Land Discovery Center Tokyo. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 27 December 27, 1947
  • Company: The Lego Group
  • Net worth: $8.6 billion
  • Partner: Camilla Kristiansen

Kjeld Kirk is the former president and CEO of The Lego Group. His net worth of $8.6 billion makes him the third-richest Dane. Currently, he serves as owner and vice-chairman of the board at Lego.

21. Xavier Niel - $8.1 billion

richest CEOs
Xavier Niel presents the new Freebox Delta at the Iliad headquarters in Paris, France. Photo: Chesnot
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 25 August 1967
  • Company: Iliad
  • Net worth: $8.1 billion
  • Partner: Delphine Arnault

Xavier is a French billionaire businessman who has ventured into telecommunications and technology. He is the co-owner of Le Monde and the founder and major shareholder of Iliad. It is a French internet service provider and mobile operator.

22. Pham Nhat Vuong - $8 billion

richest CEOs
Pham Nhat Vuong, chairman of Vingroup JSC, listens during an interview in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Yen Duong
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 5 August 1968
  • Company: Vingroup
  • Net worth: $8 billion
  • Partner: Pham Thu Hu’o’ng

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He is a Vietnamese property developer and the first billionaire in his country. He founded Vingroup, for which he is the chairman. He founded Technocom but sold the company to Nestle in 2009.

23. Tsai Wan-Tsai - $7.8 billion

richest CEOs
Tsai Wan-Tsai speaking on the mic. Photo: @Quicktake
Source: Twitter
  • Born: 5 August 1929
  • Company: Fubon Group
  • Net worth: $7.8 billion
  • Partner: Unknown

He was a Taiwanese banker and former member of the Legislative Yuan. He founded the Fubon Group, becoming one of the richest individuals in Taiwan.

24. Galen Weston Jr - $7.6 billion

richest CEOs
Galen Weston during the Holt Renfrew Launch Party in Vancouver. Photo: George Pimentel
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 19 December 1972
  • Company: George Weston Limited
  • Net worth: $7.6 billion
  • Partner: Alexandra Schmidt

He is the son of Galen Weston Sr. and the Chairman and CEO of George Weston Limited. He also serves as the chairman and president of Loblaw Companies Limited.

25. Augusto & Giorgio Perfetti - $7.5 billion

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richest CEOs
Augusto & Giorgio Perfetti posing for the camera. Photo: PVM_Official
Source: Twitter
  • Born: Lainate, Milan
  • Company: Perfetti Van Melle
  • Net worth: $7.5 billion
  • Partner: Unknown

Brothers Augusto and Giorgio Perfetti are the owners of candy and gum producer Perfetti Van Melle. They also own Spain’s Chupa Chups.

26. Jean-Claude Decaux - $6.9 billion

richest CEOs
Jean-Francois Decaux speaks during a press conference to announce the 2005 financial results of the French billboard advertiser in Paris. Photo: Bertrand Guay
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 15 September 1937
  • Company: JCDecaux
  • Net worth: $6.9 billion
  • Partner: Danielle Decaux

He was a French entrepreneur who ventured into advertising. He was the founder and honorary chair of his company, JCDecaux, before his death in 2016.

27. Nicky Oppenheimer - $6.7 billion

richest CEOs
Oppenheimer, Nicholas Frank - South African business executive,Chair. DE BEERS Anglo-American gold investment company. Photo: Jeff Overs
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 8 June 1945
  • Company: De Beers
  • Net worth: $6.7 billion
  • Partner: Orcillia Lasch

Nicky is a South African businessman that previously served as the chairman of De Beers diamond mining company. He also acted as deputy chairman of Anglo American and chairman of Diamond Trading Company.

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28. Samuel Truett Cathy - $6.6 billion

richest CEOs
Truett Cathy watches the action on the field during the Chick-Fil-A Bowl between the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Tennessee Volunteers at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Mike Zarrilli
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 14 March 1921
  • Company: Chick-fil-A
  • Net worth: $6.6 billion
  • Partner: Jeannette McNeil Cathy (Died 2015)

He is an American businessman, author, philanthropist and investor. He founded his company, Chick-fil-A, in 1946. He is also the founder of Upscale Pizza in Fayetteville.

29. Reed Hastings - $6.3 billion

richest CEOs
Reed Hastings during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California. Photo: Kyle Grillot
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 8 October 1960
  • Company: Netflix
  • Net worth: $6.3 billion
  • Partner: Patricia Quillin

The American businessman co-founded Netflix, for which he is the chairman and co-CEO. He also sits on several boards of NGOs.

30. Thomas Schmidheiny - $6.3 billion

richest CEOs
Thomas Schmidheiny poses for a photograph in front of the main building at his vineyard in Heerbrugg, Switzerland. Photo: Philipp Schmidli
Source: Getty Images
  • Born: 17 December 1945
  • Company: Holcim
  • Net worth: $6.3 billion
  • Partner: Suzanne Lise Mireille Weber

The Swiss billionaire businessman is a former chairman of Holcim. It is a cement and concrete manufacturing company. He resigned from chairmanship but retained his position as a board member.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Who is the youngest CEO? At 26 years, Alex Rodrigues is the youngest CEO globally, with a net worth between $350 million and $450 million.
  2. Who is the richest CEO in 2021? Elon Musk is the richest CEO in the world as of 2022.
  3. Who is the top 10 CEO? Rupert Murdoch is the 10th richest CEO in the world in 2022.
  4. Who is the richest CEO in the world? Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk is the richest CEO in the world.
  5. IS Bill Gates the richest CEO in the world? No, he dropped down the pecking orders after stepping down as Microsoft CEO.
  6. Which CEO is a billionaire? Jeff Bezos is the billionaire CEO. In 2020, he broke the record by becoming the first person ever whose wealth was over $200 billion.

The richest CEOs in the world are people who have achieved self-actualization and are not motivated by money. They hold their positions because they are the best at what they do, so their roles come with top executive salaries. To them, their salaries are like a sand pebble on a beach because they make a lot more money for their companies. shared an interesting article about the richest footballers in the world. The richest footballers in the world make their money both on and off the pitch through salaries and endorsements. Other factors that may increase their income include getting a bonus per goal, providing an assist, scoring a hattrick, keeping a clean sheet, and winning a trophy.

Footballers' salaries have been on the rise in the past few years. As the sport grows both in the fanbase and revenue collection, players' salaries are revised upwards. This is why modern footballers are wealthier than the greats who plied their trade a couple of years ago.

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