Business Today

The one buck bosses

There are many in the world of business, at least in America, who take just a dollar home as salary.

T.V. Mahalingam | Print Edition: April 18, 2010

A rupee. That's what the flying Sikh, Milkha Singh, charged film-maker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra for the rights to make a biopic based on his life. There are many in the world of business, at least in America, who take just a dollar home as salary. Lee Iacocca started the trend in 1978, when as chairman of troubled automaker Chrysler, he whittled his salary down to a buck till the company returned to black. Here's a look at other one-buck bosses:

Vikram Pandit: The Nagpur-born CEO of Citigroup announced in early 2009 that he would take home just $1 till the group started making profits. Critics point out that three weeks before the announcement, Pandit had received $128,751 in salary. In 2008, Pandit was paid over $38 million in shares and options, which now are worth a little over $3 million.

Jerry Yang: The co-founder and former CEO of Yahoo took home just a dollar every month during his stint at the top, till he stepped down in January 2009 after resisting Microsoft's attempts to take over Yahoo failed. His successor, Carol Bartz, was paid a base salary of $1 million, stock options for five million shares, not to mention the option of an annual 400 per cent bonus.

Steve Jobs: The Apple CEO, who would walk seven miles to get his dose of ISKCON prasad in his broke days, has been taking home just $1 since 1997—when he came back to the company he founded and had been ousted from. As a result, Apple COO Timothy Cook, who received $5 million as bonus in 2009, is now the iPod maker's highest-paid employee.

The Googlers: The duo that created Google—Sergey Brin, Larry Page—is still making the lonely buck even as the company that revolutionised Internet search doled out $8 million in bonuses to other senior executives this year. The Google stock has zoomed several times since it was listed in August 2004.

Elon Musk: The CEO of electric carmaker Tesla Motors, takes a dollar as compensation but has used a private jet 12 times in the last year or so. Tesla foots the bill.

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