His company's share price may have declined dramatically, but Tom Siebel still tops the list of the highest paid Silicon Valley executives in 2002 according to the San Jose Mercury News annual Executive Pay Study.
The 754 highest-paid executives in Silicon Valley's largest companies took home $1 billion to year end December 31 2002, but in a sign that the recession was beginning to bite, that total, which included salary, bonus and estimated stock options gains, was only about one-fourth of the $3.8 billion in 2001 and one-fifth of the record $4.7 billion in 2000. But canny CEOs were hardly out of pocket as options schemes kicked in to bump up the take-home significantly.
For example although Siebel took home a token $1 in salarly, his options gave him the biggest paycheck in 2002 - $34.6 million worth. Options have delivered the Siebel founder nearly $362 million in compensation over the past five years.
But other CEO's followed his lead. Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy exercised $25.2 million in options, while Intel's Craig Barrett exercised $17.6 million in options last year.
Others were more sparing in their use of options. Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina took home $4.1 million in pay, but let her options ride, as did Apple Computer CEO Steven Jobs who decided to get by on $3.6 million in 2002.
But among the lowest paid was Tom Siebel's arch-enemy Oracle CEO Lawrence Ellison. He had no salary, bonus or options, but took home comprised $38,622 related to corporate benefits and the use of his Gulfstream V jet. But then he did take home $706 million in 2001, to date the biggest paycheck for any Silicon Valley boss.