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Highest Paid CFOs in the World in 2024


Joe Berchtold, President and CFO of Live Nation Entertainment, garnered an impressive $52.4 million


Big companies used to hog all the CFO action, but now even small and medium-sized businesses are jumping on the bandwagon. Why the sudden CFO craze? Well, CEOs are cluing in on the fact that having a financial expert on board can steer their ship in the right direction and spur business growth.


In a nutshell, companies are starting to view CFOs as smart investments rather than just expenses. Let's look at the Highest Paid CFOs in the World in 2024 and break down what makes them such assets to their organizations.


Top 5 Highest Paid CFOs in the World in 2024


5. Amy Hood, Microsoft: $26.3 million



Amy Hood


Amy Hood serves as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Microsoft, overseeing the company's global finance organization, which includes accounting, acquisitions, business operations, real estate, internal audit, investor relations, tax planning, and treasury functions.


Joining Microsoft in 2002, Hood assumed the role of EVP and CFO in 2013. During her tenure, she has been instrumental in driving global growth in cloud services and technological advancements. Her involvement spans operational oversight, strategic planning, and successful execution of key acquisitions such as Activision Blizzard, LinkedIn, and GitHub.


Education

Bachelor's Degree in Economics – Duke University

Master's Degree in Business Administration – Harvard University


Salary- $1,000,000

Bonus- 0

Value Stock Awards- $21,681,666

Total Compensation- $26,319,581


4. Luca Maestri, Apple: $27.1 million



Luca Maestri


Luca Maestri serves as Apple’s Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, directly reporting to CEO Tim Cook. As the CFO, Maestri supervises various key functions at Apple, including accounting, business support, financial planning and analysis, treasury, real estate, investor relations, internal audit, and tax. 


With a rich background spanning over 25 years, Maestri has a proven track record of building and leading finance teams in global companies with extensive operational scope and complexity. Before his tenure at Apple, he held the CFO position at Xerox and Nokia Siemens Networks.


Education

Bachelor’s Degree in Economics – Luiss University in Rome

Master’s Degree in Science of Management – Boston University.


Salary- $1,000,000

Bonus- 0

Value Stock Awards- $22,132,015

Total Compensation- $27,151,798


3. John David Rainey, Walmart Inc.: $39.7 million



John David Rainey


John David Rainey holds the esteemed position of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Walmart. He oversees the financial operations, corporate strategy, global procurement, and investor relations, driving Walmart's mission to empower customers worldwide with savings and a better quality of life.


Before his tenure at Walmart from May 2022, Rainey excelled as PayPal's CFO and Executive Vice President for Global Customer Operations. There, he steered the financial and customer operations, leaving a significant impact on PayPal's global operations.


He also served as the CFO at United Airlines, a major global airline, and accumulated 18 years of experience across United and Continental Airlines. He kickstarted his career journey at Ernst & Young LLP.


Education

Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration – Baylor University

Master’s Degree in Business Administration – Baylor University


Salary- $700,000

Bonus- $5,000,000

Value Stock Awards - $32,651,678

Other Compensation – 1,373,923

Total Compensation- $39,725,601


2. Michael J. Cavanagh, Comcast Corp.: $40.4 million





Michael J. Cavanagh currently holds the positions of Chief Financial Officer and President at Comcast Corporation, a Fortune 30 global media and technology giant connecting millions of customers worldwide through its platforms and content.


With a wide array of duties, Cavanagh collaborates with the Chairman and CEO to oversee all facets of the company. Comcast, boasting around 186,000 employees globally, a yearly revenue of $122 billion, and ranking among the top 25 profitable U.S. companies, welcomed him as CFO in 2015. Before joining Comcast, he spent over two decades in the financial services sector, including roles as Co-CEO of JPMorgan Chase's Corporate & Investment Bank and CFO at JPMorgan Chase.


Before his tenure at JPMorgan Chase, he held roles essential to the firm's prosperity, such as CEO of the Treasury & Securities Services division, Head of Strategy and Planning, and COO of Middle Market Banking. Additionally, he briefly served as Co-President and Co-Chief Operating Officer at The Carlyle Group.


Education

Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration – Yale University

Juris Doctor – University of Chicago


Salary- $2,300,000

Bonus- $28,207,145

Value Stock Awards - $9,974,568

Total Compensation- $40,481,722


1. Joe Berchtold, Live Nation Entertainment: $52.4 million



Joe Berchtold


Joe Berchtold, President and CFO of Live Nation Entertainment, garnered an impressive $52.4 million in 2023, solidifying his position as the highest-paid CFO in the United States.


During his tenure at Live Nation, Joe has overseen a period of sustained growth spanning over a decade. Under his guidance, the company has expanded its reach to over 40 countries, increased its fan base, and consistently achieved record-breaking financial and operational outcomes. Furthermore, he remains at the forefront of driving strategic initiatives and acquisitions that fuel global business growth across concerts, venues, sponsorships, and ticketing. Before joining Live Nation, Joe held the role of Partner at McKinsey & Company.


Education

B.A. in Economics – Pomona College

Master’s Degree in Business Administration – Harvard University


Salary- $1,300,000

Bonus- $6,000,000

Non- Equity Incentive Compensation - $2,600,000 

Value Stock Awards - $42,401,504

Total Compensation- $52,356,095


The Role of a CFO Explained


The CFO leads the finances of a company and they're all about keeping the company's finances in good shape. This involves putting together a top-notch finance team, balancing the money coming in and going out, and thinking ahead. They also pitch in on major financial moves like mergers and fundraising. The CFO teams up with other bigwigs to get the lowdown on the company's cash flow and make solid plans. They double-check financial reports for accuracy and offer advice to the company leaders and the board.


Sometimes, CFOs help pick out new tech to jazz up things, especially in finance. They also dish out tips on how to spruce up the supply chain or marketing based on their expertise and industry insight.


What does a CFO Typically Do?


The CFO oversees the financial side of the house and advises the CEO and other executives on strategy. Brainyard's Winter 2021 Survey sheds light on what success looks like for finance leaders and how priorities have shifted. From hitting revenue targets to managing cash flow, the CFO's got it covered. They guide department heads, help with budgeting, and analyze financial data to steer the ship. It's all about making smart money moves, like launching a new product or deciding where to base operations.



4 Key Responsibilities of a CFO


Specifically, here are some key corporate matters the CFO is in charge of:


Forecasting

One key thing to note is that CFOs do more than just report the current situation. A big part of their value lies in their knack for predicting future outcomes accurately. This involves financial forecasting and modeling, not just based on past company performance, but also on internal and external factors that could impact revenue and expenses. The CFO's job is to decipher various departmental forecasts to create profit projections for the CEO and shareholders.


Internal factors cover sales trends, labor costs, raw material prices, and more. On the other hand, external factors could be opportunity costs, market shifts, new competitors, and technological advancements.


To stay updated on the external environment, CFOs might look at government data, analyst reports, and media sources. They also benefit from insights gathered through trade associations, board members, lenders, and other connections.


Return on Investment (ROI)

As a CFO, one key focus is making sure your organization gets a solid return on investment (ROI). ROI is all about figuring out the chance of getting back the money you put in, and how much you might get back exactly. It's like looking at the gain or loss you make from an investment compared to what you spent.


But here's the thing - ROI is just one piece of the puzzle. CFOs need to consider more than just ROI, like the net present value, to decide if a project will pay off in the end.


Reporting

Financial reports like balance sheets, profit and loss, and cash flow statements are crucial for both insiders and outsiders to understand a company's financial health. The CFO plays a key role in ensuring these statements are accurate and in line with standard accounting principles like GAAP.


Even though private firms only need to submit financial reports to the SEC if they have over $10 million in assets and 500+ shareholders, many still prepare these statements for potential needs like securing loans or funding.


Liquidity

Liquidity is an organization's capability to settle its short-term debts - the ones due in less than a year - using easily available funds. It's often shown as a ratio or a percentage of what the company owes versus what it owns.


CFOs focus on making sure that customers pay up on time and managing expenses to have sufficient cash for financial commitments.


Final Thoughts


Companies that view the CFO role more as reporting and less as strategy are or will soon be at a disadvantage. Of course, finance chiefs must ensure timely data for decisions, but success stems from strategic planning and collaboration across the business.


It's no surprise that CFO surveys always point to this evolution. Particularly in small and midsize businesses, CFOs wear multiple hats. Besides their CFO duties, they handle cyber security risks, system integration, talent recruitment, and explore new tech like Blockchain and AI.


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