A filing with the Security and Exchange Commission reveals that Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos continues to draw the same salary as he did in 1998.
Bezos was paid a base salary of $81,840, but was compensated with an additional $1.6 billion, which covers security during business travel. Of course, Bezos is doing just fine financially as he also owns almost 88 million Amazon shares, about 19.5 percent of the company, which are valued at nearly $16.6 billion.
The only other CEO of a publicly traded company making less that Bezos is - as far as I am aware of, and please correct me if I am wrong - Whole Foods Market's John Mackey, who received a total 2011 compensation, including stock, of $78,451. Other Amazon executives also draw relatively modest salaries. Jeffrey Wilke, senior vice president for consumer business, saw his pay climb by $5,000 to $165,000 plus $3,200 in stock for his 401(k).
Of course, since Bezos owns a huge chunk of Amazon shares, he is very interested in acting in favor of shareholder interests, which would include executive salaries and the success of the Kindle family of products. In a separate filing, Bezos focused especially on the success of Kindle and its direct publishing model. The company said that there are now more than 1,000 publishers who are selling more than 1,000 copies per month, and some have reached sales of several hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some consider Amazon to have the only non-iPad successful tablet platform.
If Bezos' Fire bet works out, his $88,840 pay may be even more meaningless in the future than it is today.