There’s no surprise that Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk has topped the list of highest-paid U.S. CEOs in 2018, per Bloomberg, but who would’ve thought a pot CEO would follow up Musk? Probably no one.
Brendan Kennedy of Tilray Inc. definitely didn’t know it would happen when he went all in with the company in 2012. 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.
In July 2018, Tilray became the first cannabis company to list their shares on the stock exchange, and oh boy was it all uphill for Tilray—315% uphill, to be exact. The massive investor influx led Kennedy to follow Musk’s $513.3 million as second-highest-paid CEO with a hefty compensation package of $256 million, and Walt Disney Co.’s Bob Iger is right below with $146.6 million.
What makes Kennedy so special is the fact that, out of the top five CEOs, he’s the only one who hasn’t placed on the list before. What makes this list not so special, though, is the amount of women on it.
Within the top 10 CEOs, how many women are there? Zero. Within the top 25? None. Okay, how about the top 35? ... One.
Co-CEO of Oracle Corp. Safra Catz ranks 34th on the list with a $40.5 million compensation. Catz sits opposite Mark Hurd on the Oracle Corp. board.
The other women included on the list are former Senior Vice President of Apple Inc. Angela Ahrendts (47th with $34 million), current Senior Vice President of Apple Inc. Katherine Adams (56th with $31 million) and CEO of Williams-Sonoma Inc. Laura Alber (66th with $29.3 million).
The lack of women in the list overall sheds a light on the disparities between male and female CEOs. Not only does it show how little women are actual CEOs, but it also shows the difference in pay between men and women.
If Kennedy’s underdog story of how one measly weed CEO became the second highest-paid CEO in the U.S. is a testament to anything, it’s how anything can really happen. So, if anything can happen, why are there so few women making top dollar?
See the full list via Bloomberg below.