Mary Barra Is the Highest-Paid Auto CEO in the World

Lowest-paid auto CEO in the world? Elon Musk.

byChris Tsui| PUBLISHED Apr 5, 2017 8:36 AM
Mary Barra Is the Highest-Paid Auto CEO in the World

For the second year in a row, GM's Mary Barra tops the list of the world's highest-paid auto CEOs, earning $22.6 million in 2016 according to CNN Money. GM sold a record 10 million cars last year, producing an operating profit of $12.5 billion. Coming in second place, Ford's Mark Fields with $22.1 million, while Sergio Marchionne of Fiat Chrysler rounds out the top three raking in the European equivalent of $10.6 million. Despite heading the world's largest automaker, Volkswagen boss Matthias Müller received a relatively paltry €7.3 million, or $7.7 million in today's exchange rates. This is likely in no small part due to the German automaker's Dieselgate scandal, which continues to cost them billions. 

Surprisingly, the lowest-paid car company CEO was Elon Musk, reporting a comically philanthropic annual salary of $37,584 in 2015—the minimum wage California law allows for an 80-hour work week. According to Tesla, he hasn't accepted any of it, and it's only a figure used for tax purposes. Taking his $10 billion worth of Tesla shares into account, Musk is simultaneously the world's richest yet lowest-paid car executive. In addition to being one of the most important people in the automotive world, Elon is also definitely one of the coolest.