I'm going to be brief in this post, because the facts alone should astound you. They might even provoke a strong reaction - whether positive or negative depends of course on you. I'll try hard not to be judgmental, but I have a feeling that by the end of the article I will have failed.
Without further ado, and as you already know from the headline: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last year earned $2.3 billion - $2.28 billion to be exact. That's according to a ranking of CEO pay by research firm GMI Ratings.
GMI points out that almost all of Zuckerberg's compensation came after he bought 6-cent options for 60 million Facebook shares and then sold a lot of them after Facebook went into public ownership in May at about $38 per share. The total includes pocket change of $1.2 million for personal security and use of a jet for him and guests.
Yes, $2.28 billion. A quick check tells me that's bigger than the GDP of about 30 countries.
GMI says the amount makes him the highest paid CEO in the U.S. by a wide margin. Forget "CEO." Let's just call him the highest paid person in the land because is there any, say, vice-president making more than a couple of billion? Any janitor? Surgeon? Teacher? Nurse? Professor? Scientist? Engineer? Certainly no journalists are, not that I know of anyway. Professional baseball players don't even earn that. Maybe it's time for them to go on strike again.
Richard Kinder, CEO of energy pipeline company Kinder Morgan, was a distant second at $1.1 billion. Like Zuckerberg, he gained his rewards mostly through stock trades. It was the first year that more than one CEO garnered over $1 billion, GMI said. Rounding out the top 5: Sirius XM Radio's Mel Karmazin and Liberty Media's Gregory B. Maffei, both at $255 million, and Apple's Tim Cook at $144 million.
Zuck must surely be "liking" his dosh. Some of you might find it disdainful. Others might be filled with envy, or even jealousy.
If you're the latter type: You too could have dared to implement a business model that lures hundreds of millions of people into giving you their valuable personal information for free, and then herds them into the United Republic of Facebook.
Photo of Michael Marcovici's One Billion Dollar artwork is from Trendland.com
More Facebook flag waving on SmartPlanet: