F1 CEO Among The Top-10 Highest Paid CEOs During Pandemic

Illustration for article titled F1 CEO Among The Top-10 Highest Paid CEOs During Pandemic
Photo: Bryn Lennon (Getty Images)

While hundreds of thousands of people across the globe lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was a pretty damn good time to be the CEO of a high-profile company—even if your company was hit hard by lost business, like Boeing or Norwegian Cruise Line. And among the top-10 highest paid CEOs in 2020 was Gregory Maffei of Formula One, the New York Times reports.

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Greg Maffei is the Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Media, which is the current owner of F1, SiriusXM, and the Atlanta Braves. So while Maffei could have benefited from his other interests at the same time, he likely makes a pretty decent sum.

Maffei ranks seventh on the list of highest-paid CEOs of 2020, with his salary coming in at $47.12 million. What’s shocking is the fact that that sum seems almost paltry compared to Chad Richison’s salary. The Paycom CEO made $211.13 million from his payroll company.

NYT doesn’t provide many enlightening details about Maffei and his business model, but it does note that companies like Hilton laid off a quarter of its staff and lost $720 million while its CEO made $55.9 million.

From the article:

The divergent fortunes of C.E.O.s and everyday workers illustrate the sharp divides in a nation on the precipice of an economic boom but still racked by steep income inequality. The stock markets are up and the wealthy are spending freely, but millions are still facing significant hardship. Executives are minting fortunes while laid-off workers line up at food banks.

[...]

Eight of the 10 wealthiest people in the world are men who founded or ran tech companies in the United States, and each has grown billions of dollars richer this year, according to Bloomberg. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, which saw profits skyrocket with people stuck at home, is now worth $193 billion. Larry Page, a Google co-founder, is worth $103 billion, up $21 billion in the last four months alone, as his company’s fortunes have only improved during the pandemic.

And, according to security filings, a select few are rapidly accumulating new fortunes.

It’s always been fairly obvious that F1 isn’t a race series for the Average Joe; it caters to the elite, and it makes sense that its CEO would rake in money, even during a season where F1 didn’t host races. But whether NYT is only counting Maffei’s income from F1 or from Liberty Media as a whole, including SiriusXM, is unclear. But he has undoubtedly benefited during the pandemic where many others have suffered.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

DISCUSSION

MisterSterling
Mister Sterling

In the last 100 years, we have seen “ethical” CEO salaries (not stock awards and bonuses, mind you) go from 100x the lowest salaried worker’s salary (I think Charles Schwab was among those who did that) to now 1,000x the lowest full-time salaried employee. But I highly doubt the lowest salaried employees at Liberty Media earn $47K per year. Some make less. In 2021.

When I was hired by Lehman Brothers in 1998, the lowest salary was $45K. That year, CEO Dick Fuld “received a base salary of $750,000, a cash bonus of $2.35 million and restricted stock valued at $6.64 million. He also got options to buy 350,000 shares valued at $3.54 million.” At least I helped him procure a 996 the following year. That was fun.