Nikesh Arora, CEO of Palo Alto Networks and Indian-born, secured the number two spot on The Wall Street Journal’s 2023 list of highest-paid CEOs in the US. Nikesh Arora‘s total compensation reached a staggering $151.43 million, primarily from stock options.
The report highlighted the strong presence of Indian-descent executives among high earners. A total of 17 made it into the top 500, with Shantanu Narayen of Adobe following closely behind Arora at number 11.Narayen, who was born and raised in India, brought in $44.93 million.
Interestingly, tech giants like Tesla’s Elon Musk and Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai (also Indian-born) opted for non-traditional compensation structures in 2023. Musk received no reported compensation, while Pichai earned a relatively modest $8.80 million. Mark Zuckerberg of Meta fell somewhere in between with $24.40 million.
Arora, an alumnus of Delhi’s Air Force Public School, rose to prominence during his time as Google’s chief business officer. After leaving Google in 2014, he made headlines by leading SoftBank in Japan with a record-breaking compensation package. Since 2018, he’s been steering Palo Alto Networks, a cybersecurity firm.
Hock Tan of Broadcom topped the overall list with earnings of $162 million. Several other Indian-American CEOs made significant appearances: Sanjay Malhotra (Micron Technology), Ajei Gopal (Ansys), and Reshma Kewalramani (Vertex Pharmaceuticals) ranked within the top 120.
The report also highlighted the achievements of Arvind Krishna (IBM), Badrinarayanan Kothandaraman (Enphase Energy), Sanjiv Lamba (Linde), and many more prominent Indian-descent leaders across various industries.