Digital ad company CEO out-earns Big Tech peers in 2021

Digital ad company CEO out-earns Big Tech peers in 2021

The head of a digital ad-buying platform ranked as the highest-paid CEO in the U.S. information technology sector in 2021, thanks to a large stock option award.

The Trade Desk Inc.’s Jeffrey Green earned total adjusted compensation of $835 million in 2021. The vast majority of that compensation consisted of a long-term stock option award, granted in October 2021, for 16 million shares of common stock valued at $828.4 million. The executive also received about $3.9 million in cash compensation and $2.7 million in nonequity incentive plan compensation in 2021.

That made Green the highest-paid U.S. infotech CEO last year, ahead of executives like Amazon.com Inc.‘s Andrew Jassy and Intel Corp.‘s Patrick Gelsinger, who ranked as the eighth- and ninth- highest-paid CEOs, respectively. All of the executives in the top 10 received the majority of their total compensation in stock or option awards.

Digital ad company CEO out-earns Big Tech peers in 2021

The Trade Desk specializes in real-time programmatic marketing automation technologies. It achieved nearly $1.20 billion in revenue in 2021, up 43% from $836.0 million in 2020.

The company last year entered into several new partnerships with big companies, including Walmart Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.’s Samsung Ads in India, and smartphone-maker Xiaomi Corp. It also expanded a partnership with NBCUniversal Media LLC related to the programmer’s Peacock streaming service.

The second- and third-highest-paid infotech CEOs both lead companies that completed initial public offerings in 2021.

SNL Image * Read the S&P Global Market Intelligence ranking of fintech CEO pay.
* See the financial highlights for The Trade Desk.

Qualtrics International Inc.’s Zig Serafin ranked as the second-highest paid CEO with total adjusted compensation of $540.5 million, of which $540 million came in the form of stock awards granted effective Feb. 1, after the completion of Qualtrics’ IPO. Serafin also received $500,000 in cash compensation.

Qualtrics provides software that helps companies gauge customer satisfaction and feedback. It remains a subsidiary of SAP SE, which holds about 72% of the company’s shares. SAP acquired Qualtrics for $8 billion in 2018.

Affirm Holdings Inc.’s Max Levchin was the third-highest-paid infotech CEO, with total adjusted compensation of $451.2 million, nearly all of which came in the form of stock options.

Levchin received options for up to 12.5 million shares of class A common stock last year as part of a “value creation award” in advance of the e-commerce company’s January IPO.

Levchin also received about $200,000 in cash compensation, the majority of which covered costs related to personal security services, according to a company filing.

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https://www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence/en/news-insights/latest-news-headlines/digital-ad-company-ceo-out-earns-big-tech-peers-in-2021-71781801

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