The highest-paid Indian-origin CEO in the US is… no, not Sundar Pichai or Satya Nadella

June 26: While much has been written about the remarkably high number of Indian-origin executives in Silicon Valley, only one Indian-American has made it to the list of the top 10 highest paid CEOs of the US – and no, it’s not Sundar Pichai or Satya Nadella.

Nikesh Arora, CEO and chairman of Palo Alto Networks, is number 10 on the list of the highest-earning CEOs in the United States, according to a report from C-Suite Comp. Data analytics firm C-Suite Comp released its list of the highest-paid CEOs in the US on Monday.

Two lists of the highest paid CEOs were released based on two metrics – “total compensation granted” in 2023 and “compensation actually paid.”

The Indian-American CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, did not make it to either list. Neither did his counterpart at Microsoft – Satya Nadella – despite the stellar year that the tech giant witnessed thanks to OpenAI.

On the other hand, Nikesh Arora of Palo Alto Networks made it to both lists. He ranked number four on the list of “Highest earning CEOs in the US by total compensation granted in 2023” with earnings of $151.4 million. Arora also rounded up the 10 of “Highest earning CEOs in the US by compensation actually paid in 2023” with an annual compensation of $266.4 million.

The list was topped by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who earned a staggering $1.4 billion in 2023. Only one other chief executive crossed the $1 billion mark – Alexander Karp of Palantir Technologies.

Nikesh Arora took over as CEO of Palo Alto Networks in 2018. His stellar career includes stints at Google and SoftBank Group.

Arora, 56, was born to an Indian Air Force officer and completed his schooling at Air Force Public School in Delhi. He obtained a Bachelors degree in electrical engineering from Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University (now IIT-BHU). He also holds an MBA from Northeastern University and an MSc from Boston College.

Arora spent 10 years at Google in senior leadership roles. In 2014, he resigned to join SoftBank Group as its president and chief operating officer.

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