AMD CEO Lisa Su Tops This Earnings List Following EPYC Ryzen And Radeon Success

Dr. Lisa Su
AMD chief executive officer Dr. Lisa Su hauled in $58.5 million in compensation last year, making her the highest paid CEO in the S&P 500. Her massive pay package reflects AMD's stock performance, which in turn is tied to the success of the company's turnaround around effort with Zen and RDNA, and especially Zen 2.

It was not that long ago when AMD consistently played second fiddle to Intel in CPU performance, especially at the high end of the market. But then Zen came along, and AMD's fortunes began to change. Zen has proven to be a potent CPU architecture, and it really hit a stride with Zen 2, which powers AMD's Ryzen 3000 series desktop processors and EPYC "Rome" server CPUs.

According to the Associated Press (via Business Insider), female CEOs in the S&P 500 surveyed in 2019 averaged $13.9 million in compensation, a 2.3 percent increase from the year prior. Dr. Su is way ahead of the pack. Meanwhile, male CEOs averaged $12.3 million in overall salary (which presumably includes base pay and performance bonuses).

The one caveat to the numbers is that the data excludes CEOs who have not been in their position for two years or more. As a result, there are some CEOs who actually made more than Dr. Su in 2019. Nevertheless, it is an impressive sum, and four times what she earned in 2018.

Much of the pay came in the form of stocks. Dr. Su earned $1 million in base pay plus $1.2 million in bonuses. The rest of her compensation includes $53 million in stock awards and $3 million in stock options. There's obviously some rounding going on, as those figures would put the overall tally at $58.2 million instead of $58.5 million.

Dr. Su has been a bit of a godsend for AMD. When she assumed the role of CEO in 2014 (replacing Rory Read), AMD's stock was trading at around $3 per share. Now six years later, AMD's share price is a tick over $53.