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A 300% Surge Makes Pot CEO No. 2 in Pay Ranking After Elon Musk

Brendan Kennedy knew early on that his bet on marijuana would take years to pay off—if at all.

It’s “either career suicide or it’s the smartest decision we’ve ever made in our lives—and we won’t know for three to five years,” Kennedy told Bloomberg in 2012.

The windfall didn’t arrive for six years, but close enough. In July, Tilray Inc. became the first cannabis company to list its shares on a U.S. exchange and rode a wave of investor hype to end 2018 with a 315% gain. That made Kennedy, its 47-year-old CEO, the second-highest-paid executive in 2018 among companies traded on U.S. exchanges, according to the Bloomberg Pay Index. His $256 million compensation package trails only the $513.3 million Tesla Inc. awarded to Elon Musk.

Bob Iger of Walt Disney Co. placed third in the pay ranking. He’s followed by Apple Inc.’s Tim Cook and Nikesh Arora, the former SoftBank Group Corp. executive who took over as CEO of Palo Alto Networks Inc. last year.

Highest Paid CEOs and Executives in 2018

Rank Name Company Total
1
Elon MuskCEO
Tesla Inc.
513,278,929
$56.4K$513.2M
2
Brendan KennedyCEO/President
Tilray Inc.
256,006,946
$425.0K$425.0K$11.3M$243.9M
3
Bob IgerCEO/Chairman
Walt Disney Co.
146,616,652
$2.9M$18.0M$8.6M$7.7M$108.3M$1.1M
4
Tim CookCEO
Apple Inc.
141,657,076
$3.0M$12.0M$126.0M$682.2K
5
Nikesh AroraCEO/Chairman
Palo Alto Networks Inc.
130,730,811
$155.8K$206.5K$39.4M$72.0M$19.0M$152
6
David ZaslavCEO/President
Discovery Inc.
122,085,568
$3.0M$9.0M$15.3M$30.1M$64.2M$551.9K
7
James HeppelmannCEO/President
PTC Inc.
71,494,560
$800.0K$961.0K$27.2M$42.5M$8.3K
8
Stephen SchwarzmanCEO/Chairman
Blackstone Group LP
69,147,028
$350.0K$67.4M$1.4M
9
Tony JamesExecutive Vice Chairman
Blackstone Group LP
66,243,569
$350.0K$28.8M$36.8M$323.1K
10
Stephen AngelCEO
Linde PLC
66,190,743
$1.4M$3.6M$6.0M$6.1M$48.9M$250.5K

Kennedy, unlike the other four, hasn’t previously been among the world’s top-paid managers. With Tilray, he joins an exclusive club of entrepreneurs whose gambles yielded compensation packages of a magnitude rarely seen at blue-chip companies. Examples include Snap Inc.’s Evan Spiegel, who was crowned the king of pay for 2017 with a half-billion-dollar package, and GoPro Inc.’s Nick Woodman, who led the list in 2014 with $284.5 million.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Anders Melin, Jenn Zhao, Jason Perry and Cedric Sam on Bloomberg

Published: May 20, 2019

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