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Who is the Highest-Paid Indian-Origin CEO in the US?

While much has been written about the extraordinarily high number of Indian-origin executives in Silicon Valley, only one Indian-American has reached the list of the top ten highest paid CEOs in the United States – and it isn’t Sundar Pichai or Satya Nadella.

According to a research by C-Suite Comp, Nikesh Arora, CEO and chairman of Palo Alto Networks, is ranked tenth among the highest-paid CEOs in the US. C-Suite Comp, a data analytics firm, issued its list of the highest-paid CEOs in the US on Monday.

Two lists of the highest paid CEOs were released based on two metrics – “total compensation granted” in 2023 and “compensation actually paid.”

The Indian-American CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, did not make it to either list. Neither did his counterpart at Microsoft – Satya Nadella – despite the stellar year that the tech giant witnessed thanks to OpenAI.

On the other hand, Nikesh Arora of Palo Alto Networks made it to both lists. He ranked number four on the list of “Highest earning CEOs in the US by total compensation granted in 2023” with earnings of $151.4 million. Arora also rounded up the 10 of “Highest earning CEOs in the US by compensation actually paid in 2023” with an annual compensation of $266.4 million.

The list was topped by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who earned a staggering $1.4 billion in 2023. Only one other chief executive crossed the $1 billion mark – Alexander Karp of Palantir Technologies.

Take a look at the highest paid CEOs in the US by ‘compensation actually paid’ in 2023:

Elon Musk, Tesla$1.4 billion
Alexander Karp, Palantir Technologies$1.1 billion
Hock Tan, Broadcom$767.7 million
Brian Armstrong, Coinbase Global$680.9 million
Safra Catz, Oracle$304.1 million
Brian Chesky, Airbnb$303.5 million
Jon Winkelried, Tpg$295.1 million
Jeff Green, Trade Desk$291.7 million
Adam Foroughi, Applovin$271.3 million
Nikesh Arora, Palo Alto Networks$266.4 million

Who is Nikesh Arora?

Nikesh Arora took over as CEO of Palo Alto Networks in 2018. His stellar career includes stints at Google and SoftBank Group.

Arora, 56, was born to an Indian Air Force officer and completed his schooling at Air Force Public School in Delhi. He obtained a Bachelors degree in electrical engineering from Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University (now IIT-BHU). He also holds an MBA from Northeastern University and an MSc from Boston College.

Arora spent 10 years at Google in senior leadership roles. In 2014, he resigned to join SoftBank Group as its president and chief operating officer. His other professional stints include T-Mobile and Bharti Airtel, Europe.

Arora is married to Ayesha Thapar, granddaugter of business tycoon Karam Chand Thapar.

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