TIME Money

Apple CEO Tim Cook Earned $9 Million Last Year, Double His 2013 Pay

Pay hike comes after a stellar 2014 for the tech firm

Apple CEO Tim Cook’s total pay for 2014 was $9.22 million, more than double the financial compensation he received the year before.

Cook earned a salary of $1.75 million and his non-equity incentive compensation was $6.7 million, reports Bloomberg. His 2013 pay package was $4.25 million, according to files sent to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday.

The pay increase comes after a highly successful 2014 in which Apple’s company value exceed $700 billion and the price of stocks rose above $119 per share, according to Bloomberg.

The boost comes amid optimism surrounding new products such as the iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Pay.

Cook succeed Steve Jobs as head of Apple just months before the company’s enigmatic founder died of pancreatic cancer.

[Bloomberg]

MONEY Warren Buffett

What Warren Buffett Asks of His All-Star Employees

Warren Buffett, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.
Warren Buffett, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. Carlo Allegri—REUTERS

Insights from Buffett's latest biennial memo to Berkshire operating company managers

I’m told the first step in overcoming addiction is admitting you are powerless over the object of your addiction. Last month, I read yet another biography of Warren Buffett (and his company, Berkshire Hathaway ). Thankfully, this addiction to his writing is beneficial, so I embrace following Buffett’s writings closely. In December, Buffett issued his latest biennial memo to Berkshire operating company managers (whom he refers to as his “All-Stars”). The Berkshire chairman and CEO requested three things from this select group of businesspeople.

Protect Berkshire’s reputation

Buffett’s concern with Berkshire’s reputation is paramount. The conglomerate is his life’s work; its reputation is its most important asset, and he will not have it sullied:

The top priority — trumping everything else, including profits — is that all of us continue to guard Berkshire’s reputation… As I’ve said in these memos for more than 25 years: “We can afford to lose money — even a lot of money. But we can’t afford to lose reputation — even a shred of reputation.”

In particular, he warned against pointing to the herd as justification for a course of action:

Sometimes your associates will say “Everybody else is doing it.” This rationale is almost always a bad one if it is the main justification for a business action. It is totally unacceptable when evaluating a moral decision.

This is common sense: Did your parents buy it when you said “He/she did it, too!” to explain your bad behavior?

Instead, Buffett offered a different standard for measuring one’s behavior: “We must continue to measure every act against not only what is legal but also what we would be happy to have written about on the front page of a national newspaper in an article written by an unfriendly but intelligent reporter.”

In 2011, Buffett was stung when one of his top lieutenants and a potential successor, David Sokol, broke the company’s insider trading rules in a share-dealing controversy that most definitely did not pass the “newspaper test.” Sokol resigned from Berkshire Hathaway in the wake of the scandal.

Report bad news — and bad apples — quickly

Berkshire Hathaway ultimately concluded that Sokol had misled the company with regard to his actions — a cardinal sin on the part of an executive who was supposed to be an example and a watchman. Berkshire subsidiary managers are entrusted with the mission of embodying and protecting the company’s culture. Part of top managers’ job is to call attention to bad behavior as early as possible:

… let me know promptly if there’s any significant bad news. I can handle bad news but I don’t like to deal with it after it has festered for a while. … Somebody is doing something today at Berkshire that you and I would be unhappy about if we knew of it. That’s inevitable: We now employ more than 330,000 people and the chances of that number getting through the day without any bad behavior occurring is nil. But we can have a huge effect in minimizing such activities by jumping on anything immediately when there is the slightest odor of impropriety. Your attitude on such matters, expressed by behavior as well as words, will be the most important factor in how the culture of your business develops. Culture, more than rule books, determines how an organization behaves.

Succession: Identify the next “All-Star” roster

Finally, Buffett asked his managers to send him the names of their top candidates to succeed them. Buffett has a succession plan in place for himself, though one he has not disclosed publicly. Similarly, he promises his managers confidentiality with regard to their choices (“These letters will be seen by no one but me unless I’m no longer CEO, in which case my successor will need the information”).

This requirement appears to be more of an exercise in risk management than long-term planning, as it exempts Berkshire subsidiaries that aren’t run by a single individual (“Of course, there are a few operations that are run by two or more of you — such as the Blumkins, the Merschmans, the pair at Applied Underwriters, etc. — and in these cases, just forget about this item.”)

A good reminder to start the new year

Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway are proof that profits — huge profits, as it turns out — don’t need to be earned at the expense of business ethics. However, as with any endeavor of any significance, one cannot accomplish this alone. The heads of Berkshire subsidiaries enjoy exceptional freedom in running their businesses, but their devotion to protecting Berkshire’s corporate reputation must be uniform and absolute. The lesson isn’t new — last month’s memo was nearly identical word-for-word to the 2012 document — but it is worth reviewing at least every other year — for Berkshire’s managers and anyone else.

TIME Management

3 Workplace Trends to Watch For in 2015 (and Beyond)

Artificial intelligence will rock the job market, your company will need a Chief of Work, and cubicle farms will disappear

Correction appended, Dec. 11

If you happen to work at Microsoft, Google, Credit Suisse, or Unilever, you may be slightly ahead of your time — but only slightly. Those four companies have been featured in a new research report on the future of work.

“Most of the changes we’ll see in the next few years have already started to happen, but they will accelerate,” says Peter Andrew, workplace strategy director for Asia at real estate company CBRE. “The future is already here.”

Why real estate? Simple: Many big commercial clients sign leases for a quarter century or more into the future, so the industry keeps an eye on how work, and the places where we do it, are most likely to evolve. CBRE teamed up with Genesis, a giant real estate developer in China, to conduct in-depth interviews and other research with about 220 expert observers, executives, and office workers around the world, many of them Millennials.

The study turned up some intriguing signs of things to come, like these three:

Artificial intelligence will transform the workplace

The era of automation, which has seen robots replace workers in routine jobs in warehouses and on manufacturing assembly lines, is shifting to “knowledge work.” Among the advantages of teaching computers to gather information, and base decisions on it, is that “humans have biases. For example, people tend to be overly optimistic about a risky course of action if they’ve already invested a lot in it,” Andrew says. “AI eliminates those biases.”

It could also eliminate a lot of jobs — up to 50% of what knowledge workers do now, according to some estimates. Economies worldwide “won’t create new jobs at the same rate as we lose old ones,” says Andrew. “So there will be a difficult period of adjustment.”

Andrew likens this to what’s already happened within the legal profession, where computerization of routine research has slashed the number of new associates law firms need to hire. The upside: AI will free up human talent for more interesting, creative work. Eventually, we’ll all get used to it, Andrew says — especially since many of the tasks AI will take over are the business equivalent of household drudgery: “You never hear anyone complain about the invention of the dishwasher.”

Companies will need a Chief of Work

Most C-suites haven’t added new roles since the Chief Information Officer title took hold about 20 years ago, but CBRE’s research suggests that’s about to change. For one thing, companies today have “human resources, we have IT, and we have a real estate division — all acting separately and, often, unwittingly working against each other,” Andrew says.

A Chief of Work would coordinate all that, with an eye toward building a culture that attracts top talent, or what Andrew calls “the complete experience of working for the company, and how that affects performance.” Finding the most efficient balance between full-time employees and growing armies of independent contractors will be in the Chief of Work’s wheelhouse, too.

Office cubicles will be a relic of the past

For huge swaths of the knowledge-working, laptop- or tablet-toting world, technology has already made a desk in an office obsolete, or at least optional. So, partly in the interest of face-to-face collaboration, companies in CBRE’s study are thinking up ways to make workspaces healthier, more comfortable, and more fun.

One example: Old-school fluorescent lighting could be replaced by LED lights that can easily change color throughout the day to reflect subtle changes in the sky outside, like those lights on many airliners now that simulate dawn, midday, and dusk for long-distance travelers.

Companies will also move toward creating campus-like office buildings, like Chiswick Park in England, with amenities and events that draw people in. Andrew says more big companies around the world are starting to hand empty space, including erstwhile cube farms, over to local artists and musicians for use as studios.

“HR people tell us they see a tremendous increase in employee engagement from art, in particular,” says Andrew. “Making a more interesting environment, where you bring more of the broader culture into the space, creates a buzz and an energy that you really can’t replicate in any other way.”

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

Correction: The original version of this article misstated the surname of Peter Andrew.

TIME Companies

7 Companies That Spend More on CEO Pay Than Federal Taxes

Ford Issues Recall For 850,000 2013-14 Vehicles
Ford Ford has benefitted from a stronger economic recovery in the U.S., as many drivers look to replace their aging vehicles. Executives also expect it to be profitable in North America this year, albeit at a lower level than in 2013. In Europe, where Ford has closed factories and cut thousands of jobs, the company expects to report a narrower loss in 2014 and achieve profitability the following year. Worldwide, Ford’s 2013 revenue increased 10% from the previous year to $146.9 billion, while profits climbed 26%. Joe Raedle—Getty Images

Average CEO salary has climbed to almost $32 million from $16.7 million in 2010, according to study

Seven of the country’s 30 largest corporations doled out more to their chief executives last year than to Uncle Sam.

These seven firms reported more than $74 billion in profits last year and received a combined total of $1.9 billion in refunds from the Internal Revenue Service, according to a study, giving them an effective tax rate of negative 2.5%.

The findings are part of a report from theCenter for Effective Government and the Institute for Policy Studies. The twoWashington, D.C., think tanks have published an annual study called “Fleecing Uncle Sam,” which looks at CEO salaries and corporate taxes, since 2010.

The U.S. corporate tax rate is 35.3%, according to federal law. The reality is that most large corporations’ pay a far lower rate. Large American companies pay an effective corporate tax rate closer to 12.6%, according to the Government Accountability Office. Essentially, a host of items can lower a corporate tax bill, such as write-offs for research and development costs, or the depreciation of buildings and equipment.

As firms find ways around big tax burdens, the rift between what they pay the federal government and what they pay their top executives has been widening. The average compensation paid to CEOs that the study singles out has climbed to almost $32 million from $16.7 million in 2010.

Here are seven corporations that paid their CEOs more than the U.S. government in 2013 (the numbers below were compiled by the study’s co-authors).

1. Boeing

Boeing pre-tax income: $5.95 billion
CEO James McNerney total pay: $23.3 million
U.S. corporate income tax total: refund of$82 million

2. Ford Motors

Ford pre-tax income: $6.52 billion
CEO Alan Mulally total pay: $23.2 million
U.S. corporate income tax total: refund of$19 million

3. Chevron

Chevron pre-tax income: $4.67 billion
CEO John Watson total pay: $20.2 million
U.S. corporate income tax total: $15 million

4. Citigroup

Citigroup pre-tax income: $6.4 billion
CEO Michael Corbat total pay: $17.6 million
U.S. corporate income tax total: refund of$260 million

5. Verizon

Verizon pre-tax income: $28.83 billion
CEO Lowell McAdam total pay: $15.8 million
U.S. corporate income tax total: refund of$197 million

6. JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan pre-tax income: $17.23 billion
CEO Jamie Dimon total pay: $11.8 million
U.S. corporate income tax total: refund of$1.3 billion

7. General Motors

GM pre-tax income: $4.88 billion
CEO Daniel Ackerson total pay: $9.1 million
U.S. corporate income tax total: refund of$34 million

MONEY managing

4 Ways to Make Millennials Happier at Work

Workplace Birthday
Colleagues celebrating birthday in office Ronnie Kaufman/Larry Hirshowitz—Getty Images

A new survey from Payscale and branding expert Dan Schawbel offers insights into what managers can do to retain Gen Y employees.

Managers, get ready: By 2030, Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And a new survey from Payscale, led by Dan Schawbel of Millennial Branding, finds this generation to be more ambitious than those who came before them. Nearly three quarters of Millennials say that an ideal job would offer some career advancement, more than Gen X and boomers. The report also pinpoints the specific types of conditions and leadership Gen Y’ers crave at work.

Play to those needs and your business may also be able to boost retention, Schawbel says.

His report finds that 26% of Gen Y workers believe employees should only be expected to stay in a job for a year or less before seeking a new role elsewhere. As an employer, that kind of turnover can be pricey. “It costs about $20,000 to replace each Millennial,” says Schawbel.

And considering the time it takes to fill that position and the stress workers take on to cover for the job in that time, it’s worth keeping a talented Millennial happy at work, he says.

As managers, here are four ways to give in to this demographic—while still getting what you need out of them.

1. Lead with the Positive

Remember, this is the generation that still got trophies when they lost a little league game. Their parents flashed bumper stickers stating that “Junior Made the Honor Roll.”

For this cohort, it’s more effective to give constructive feedback that points out what they’re doing right ahead of what they’re doing wrong. “Millennials want feedback, but they don’t want criticism,” says Schawbel.

An effective manager sets up expectations from the beginning, and offers compliments before giving negative feedback. “The tone is really important,” he says.

2. Treat them like Family

Gen Y thinks of their boss as their “work parent” and coworkers as “work relatives,” notes Schawbel.

In fact 72% want a manager who’s friendly and inviting. That compares to 63% of Gen Xers and 61% of Baby Boomers.

Reciprocate and play to those needs via team-building exercises, office happy-hour outings, volunteering opportunities and mentorship programs. The goal is to make it so there’s a real cost to them for quitting, says Schawbel. “They lose that family and they lose that culture for leaving.”

3. Promote from Within

Millennials want to lead. Therefore, demonstrating to your staff—particularly the 20-something set—that there’s a strong chance for upward mobility is imperative. If you constantly hire externally for advanced positions, how can you expect them to want to stay?

Besides engendering loyalty, raising up someone internally is a lot cheaper. Bringing in an outsider is “1.7 times the cost of internal hiring,” says Schawbel.

4. Give Them Ownership

This is not to say that you should give them a fat equity stake or a seat on the board.

The majority of Millennials say they want the opportunity to learn new skills and freedom from their managers. They want to own their projects from start to finish. To that end, an “intapreneurship” program—where you encourage workers to develop ideas for new products and services in an in-house incubator—can go a long way in keeping Millennials happy.

LinkedIn, Google and Lockheed Martin have their own versions of this kind of program.

How it works: Employees to come up with a business plan and pitch it to executives. For Millennials such projects offer the best of both worlds—they get to experiment freely like entrepreneurs but within the comforting structure of a 9 to 5 (dental included).

Farnoosh Torabi is a contributing editor at MONEY and the author of the book When She Makes More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women. More of her columns and videos for MONEY.com:

TIME Companies

Jay-Z Buys Company That Makes Very Expensive Champagne Because Duh

Shawn "Jay Z" Carter Makes Announcement On the Steps Of City Hall Downtown Los Angeles
Recording artist Shawn "Jay Z" Carter, Makes Announcement on the Steps of City Hall Downtown Los Angeles for the Budweiser Made in America Music Festival on Labor Day Weekend at Los Angeles City Hall on April 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Frederick M. Brown—Getty Images

The rap mogul loves "Ace of Spades" champagne so much he raps about it and served it at an Obama fundraiser

He’s not a businessman. He’s a business, man.

Oh wait, actually he’s also a businessman.

Jay-Z has bought the Armand de Brignac champagne business for an undisclosed amount. The champagne is known as “Ace of Spades,” and is produced by eight people in the French town of Chigny-les-Roses, the BBC reports. It was featured in at least one Jay-Z music video and sells for $300 per bottle.

The 44-year-old rap mogul (and businessman) is known for his love of champagne. Jay-Z raps about the Ace of Spades brand in his song “On To The Next One:” “I used to drink Cristal, the muhf***ers racist, so I switched gold bottles on to that Spade sh**” Jay-Z raps. In the music video for the song, you can see the Ace of Spades champagne flash onscreen about one minute and 57 seconds in.

At a fundraiser Jay-Z held for President Barack Obama in 2012, he and his wife Beyonce Knowles reportedly displayed 350 bottles of the drink.

Jay-Z has an estimated net worth of $520 million, according to Forbes magazine, making him the third richest hip-hop star in the world. He has a clothing line, restaurants and a recording label.

TIME psychology

How the Most Successful People Manage Their Time

Tip of fountain pen writing
Getty Images

Eric Barker writes Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

“Where does the time go?” I say it. I’m sure you say it a lot.

We seek work-life balance but it seems there’s never enough time to get it all done.

And yet we all know there are people who accomplish a lot more than we do in a day — and they don’t have magic powers.

How do the most successful people manage their time?

Laura Vanderkam talked to a number of those people (including productivity expert David Allen and the former CEO of Pepsi) and found out their secrets.

She’s written about what she learned in a series of books:

  1. What the Most Successful People Do at Work
  2. What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast
  3. What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend
  4. 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think

I gave Laura a call and we discussed what she learned from successful people about managing time and getting things done.

Here’s how you can get tons of stuff accomplished during the week, feel less stressed and even have more fun on the weekend.

1) Do A Time Log

Interviewing so many successful people, what did she hear some version of over and over? They all seem obsessed with one question:

What else could I do with that hour?

They plan their time, track their time and are always thinking about the opportunity cost of their time.

The first question you need to ask is “Where is my time actually going?” Not where you think it’s going, where is it actually going.

This does not involve leaning back in your chair and kinda sorta guessing about what you vaguely remember doing.

Write down what you do for every hour of the day.

Let’s just say seeing clearly in black and white how you spend your time can be sobering. Or, in some cases, downright depressing. But it works.

You can’t trust your head when it comes to time. You need to be accountable. Dieters who wrote down everything they ate lost an extra six pounds.

Via What the Most Successful People Do at Work:

One study of a year-long weight loss program, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2012, found that women who kept a food journal lost about 6 pounds more than those who did not. Writing down what you eat keeps you accountable for what you put in your mouth. Likewise, writing down how you spend your time keeps you accountable for the hours that pass, whether or not you’re conscious of them.

There are other benefits to doing a time log. It helps you figure out how long things really take versus your optimistic underestimates.

Here’s what Laura told me:

It’s just a matter of observation and saying “What is it that I repeatedly do in my life, and how long did it really take each of those times?” If that regular Monday 10 a.m. meeting is scheduled for an hour but it has never taken less than 90 minutes, then you need to be realistic and stop scheduling stuff for 11:00.

The other benefit that comes from doing a time log is you can see the optimal windows for you to accomplish certain tasks.

Are you sharper in the morning? (Most people are.) Then you can schedule “deep work” for that time.

(For more on the six things the most productive people do every day click here.)

So you’ve started a time log (and you’ve probably spent some time crying after reading it) and now you’re ready to spend your hours better.

What’s the next step? You need a plan. And not some little one either.

2) Plan The Whole Week

In a study of CEO’s what correlated with an increase in sales? Not how much time they had, but how much time had been planned out.

Via What the Most Successful People Do at Work: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Career:

Preliminary analysis from CEOs in India found that a firm’s sales increased as the CEO worked more hours. But more intriguingly, the correlation between CEO time use and output was driven entirely by hours spent in planned activities.

Georgetown professor and super-organizer Cal Newport agrees: To-do lists aren’t enough. Things need to be assigned hours to really get done.

How do you create your plan? Think about two things: what are you good at and what makes you happy?

Successful people spend as much time as possible on their “core competency” and ignore, minimize or outsource everything else.

They spend time on that thing they’re best at which produces meaningful results.

Writers need to be writing. Accountants need to be working with numbers. And everything else (like email and meetings) just gets in the way.

Laura also suggests creating a long list of things that bring you joy. Yes, you need to write them down.

Might sound silly but by having an actual list it’s easier to remember them and slot them into your schedule vs waiting for serendipity.

(For an example of the type of schedule very successful people follow every day, click here.)

So you’re putting your plan together. What’s another secret of successful people that delivers results over the long haul?

3) Morning Rituals Are For Things That Don’t Have To Happen

Morning rituals are for those things that are important but not urgent. Long term planning. Exercise.

The stuff we know we should do… but perpetually put off. These things don’t have a hard deadline and nobody will shout at us if they don’t happen.1

Via What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast:

The best morning rituals are activities that don’t have to happen and certainly don’t have to happen at a specific hour. These are activities that require internal motivation… The best morning rituals are activities that, when practiced regularly, result in long-term benefits.

Research shows we have more willpower in the morning.

One of the successful people Laura spoke to said: “Every day I have a job but in the morning, I think I have a career.”

Mornings are the time to make progress on those vital long term goals.

(For more on how the most organized people structure their time, click here.)

Time log: check. Weekly plan: check. Morning ritual: check. What else requires some forethought? Fun.

4) Yes, You Even Need To Plan The Weekend

Here’s where people freak out. They don’t want to plan their free time. But if you’re serious about your leisure time, then take it seriously.

I’m not talking about planning work or chores. I’m talking about planning fun — as in making sure you have some.

How many weekends have blown by where you didn’t get off the couch and, frankly, it wasn’t all that memorable? Exactly.

Research shows we’re happier when we plan our free time and that “doing nothing” doesn’t make us happy.

More importantly, studies have shown that you often don’t do what makes you happiest — you do what is easy. So you need to plan if you want to have fun.

What’s a weekend plan look like? Nothing draconian. Laura says you just want 3-5 “anchor events” to make sure you’re having a good time.

Here’s Laura:

Just three to five anchor events can really make the difference between feeling that a weekend was spent well, and that a weekend merely happened. And these don’t have to be huge things. It could just be, “I’m going to go for a run on Saturday morning. I’m going to try get together with this friend on Saturday evening. I’m going to go to church on Sunday morning.”

Looking to be happier? By planning fun stuff ahead of time you get to anticipate it. And research shows anticipation makes us very happy.

Best part is even if you don’t follow through and do the anchor event, you already got the anticipatory happiness. Happiness and laziness!

Via What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend:

One study by several Dutch researchers, published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life in 2010, found that vacationers were happier than people who didn’t take holiday trips. That finding is hardly surprising. What is surprising is the timing of the happiness boost… The happiness boost came before the trips, stretching out for as much as two months beforehand as the holiday goers imagined their excursions.

(For more research based tips on how to make your weekends more awesome, click here.)

Weekend fun is locked in. What’s the most vital part of insuring you’re ready for the workweek to start again?

5) How To Conquer The Sunday Night Blues

You know the weekend is over and tomorrow it’s back to work. Instead of being filled with dread, plan something awesome for Sunday night.

Here’s Laura:

Even people who like their jobs can succumb to this: “Oh god the weekend’s over!” One way around that is planning something low-key but enjoyable for Sunday night — anything you can look forward to Sunday afternoon instead of thinking about Monday morning.

Research shows Sunday is the saddest day of the week. Plan something fun ahead of time and that doesn’t have to be the case.

(For more on how to achieve work-life balance, click here.)

Okay, we’ve got some great tips. Let’s pull this together.

Sum Up

Here’s what you can learn about time management from very successful people:

  1. Do a time log. See how long things take and when your best windows are.
  2. Plan the whole week. Focus on your core competency and what makes you happy.
  3. Have a morning ritual that gets you closer to your long term goals.
  4. Set 3-5 anchor events for the weekend.
  5. Plan something fun for Sunday night.

168 — that’s how many hours we all have every week. We need to get out of the mindset of “I don’t have time.”

We all have the same number of hours. Period. It’s what you choose to do with those hours that will shape your entire life.

To quote a video game franchise I worked on a while back:

We all make choices. But in the end, our choices make us.

This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

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Related posts:

How To Stop Being Lazy And Get More Done – 5 Expert Tips

6 Things The Most Productive People Do Every Day

Here’s The Schedule Very Successful People Follow Every Day

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TIME Management

The 25 Highest-Paid Women Took a Pay Cut in 2013

TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2014 - Day 3
Yahoo! President and CEO Marissa Mayer judges onstage the Startup Battlefield Finals at TechCrunch Disrupt at Pier 48 in San Francisco on Sept. 10, 2014. Steve Jennings—Getty Images

Median pay for the 25 highest paid female executives at publicly traded companies edged down to $13.8 million last year from $14.7 million in 2012

The 25 highest-paid female executives brought home a little less in 2013.

Well-known female powerhouse executives like Oracle’s Safra Catz, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer, and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg all drew smaller pay packages in 2013 compared to 2012, according to data provided to Fortune by Equilar, an executive compensation data firm.

Median pay for the 25 highest-paid female executives at publicly traded companies edged down to $13.8 million last year from $14.7 million in 2012, according to Equilar. By comparison, median pay packages for the top 25 paid male executives grew to $44.1 million from $40.7 million in 2012.

It’s not all bad news for top paid women, though. While the data is too small to eke out trends for anyone outside the few female executives at the very top, pay for those top female executives has grown over the years, says Aaron Boyd, director of governance research at Equilar.

Looking at a much broader swath of executives, female CEOs generally made 80% of male CEO salaries in 2013, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

Notably, the top paid female executive in 2013 was born a man. United Therapeutics CEO Martine Rothblatt made a whopping $38.2 million. Rothblatt underwent sex reassignment surgery in 1994 and told Fortune earlier this month she had benefited from male privilege earlier in her life. She also benefited from the FDA’s approval of her company’s pill to treat high blood pressure in the lungs, which doubled the company’s stock price and quadrupled her pay package from a year earlier.

United Therapeutics spokesman Michael Benkowitz said that Rothblatt’s compensation is tied to the performance of the company and her pay formula hasn’t changed since the company went public 15 years ago. “We think it’s one of the purest performance-based compensation plans in the country,” Benkowitz said. Over the years, the company’s performance has translated into a less generous compensation for Rothblatt, with few or even zero stock option awards.

No. 2 on the list, Oracle’s co-CEO Safra Catz, saw her pay dip in 2013 to $37.7 million from $43.6 million a year earlier. It’s not because of poor performance; Oracle trimmed stock options for all its executives in response to mounting criticism of its over-the-top pay packages. Oracle didn’t return a request for comment.

“We don’t know what her pay is going to look like as CEO, but even at … $37 million as CFO, that puts her in the top 20 of all CEOs. And she’s made the top 10 in the past,” Boyd says.

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sandberg saw her pay drop by $10 million to a mere $16.1 million in 2013. But no need to fret, last year’s pay package doesn’t include the $300 million she’s collected over the years selling Facebook shares after the company’s 2012 initial public offering. Facebook declined to comment on Sandberg’s pay.

Marissa Mayer’s earnings slipped just a bit in 2013, mostly because she’s no longer a newbie on the job. CEOs tend to make more in their first year, thanks to lavish recruiting awards. But she has a decent shot at a pay hike if the company’s share price continues its upward trend, now that Yahoo is $9 billion richer from selling its stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba at its initial public offering. Yahoo didn’t return a request for comment.

One newcomer to the top female executives list is Cheniere Energy Senior Vice President for Marketing Meg A. Gentle, who made $21.7 million in 2013. Her boss, Cheniere Energy CEO Charif Souki, made six times that amount—$141.9 million. The company’s stock price has skyrocketed, as it’s poised to be one of the first exporters of U.S. liquefied natural gas. Cheniere Energy’s shareholders aren’t too happy about the generous executive pay; some investors have filed a lawsuit against its “excessive, improper awards.” And shareholders disapproved of the company’s pay package in non-binding votes, according to recent regulatory filings. Cheniere Energy also didn’t return a request for comment.

In the Equilar data, compensation totals include base salary, bonuses, the value of stock options and restricted stock, performance-based incentives, and other perks like relocation stipends, attorney fees, car leases, and security for executives’ homes.

Overall, top female CEOs did a heck of a lot better than the average U.S. private sector worker, who is making around $44,100, according to recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Executive compensation expert Nell Minow says women have been just as “disgustingly overpaid as men.” Remember when Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, asked HP to pay to move her yacht from the East Coast to the West Coast across the Panama Canal? (She didn’t get her yacht moved.)

“Some of the worst pay packages in history have gone to women,” says Minow, who has been fighting on behalf of investors for years to stem such exorbitant pay. So far, shareholder efforts to pressure compensation committees to trim back pay have had little effect. “There’s no good news about CEO pay.”

See the full list of highest-paid female executives.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME Management

Business Magnate Richard Branson Gives His Staff Unlimited Vacation

Virgin founder Richard Branson
Virgin founder Richard Branson Michael Buckner—Getty Images

Is Virgin's Richard Branson the best boss ever, or an eccentric?

Richard Branson, the chairman and founder of Virgin Group, said on his website Tuesday that he’s giving his whole personal staff unlimited vacation days.

Branson’s staff of almost 200 can “take off whenever they want for as long as they want,” the executive said on his website, adding that employees don’t need to ask for approval, nor are their managers requested to keep track of their days away from work.

Employees can take however much time off from work they choose, “the assumption being that they are only going to do it when they feel a hundred per cent comfortable that they and their team are up to date on every project and that their absence will not in any way damage the business,” Branson said.

The flexible hours employees were working both in the office and at home already make it hard to track how many hours they’re working anyway, Branson said.

The Financial Times reported that the new rules apply to around 170 staff at the Virgin head offices in the U.K. and U.S., whereas the 50,000 employees of the larger Virgin Group won’t enjoy the same policy — though Branson said in his note if it’s successful, he’ll encourage Virgin’s subsidiaries to adopt the policy as well.

Branson said he was inspired by Netflix, the video-streaming service, which has a similar policy.

MONEY workplace etiquette

How to Work With a Boss You Can’t Trust

Trophy with "Best" in "Best Boss" engraving crossed out
Scott M. Lacey

Q: My EVP is a serial liar. He never takes the blame when something is wrong, and instead, he completely throws people under the bus. If something goes right, he takes the majority of the credit. What can I do? – Brad, Atlanta

A: As infuriating as your boss’ behavior is, you want to be measured and strategic in your response.

“There are people like this in every company,” says Stacey Hawley, founder of Credo, a compensation and talent management firm and author of Rise to the Top. “If you complain about your boss to someone else, you just look like you can’t handle the situation. If you want to be in leadership position, you have to know how to deal with people like this.”

Four tactics that can help:

Make it tougher for your boss to lie

When sending emails or memos with important updates and accomplishments related to a project, copy all of the key people involved. Let everyone know that if there are questions, you’d be happy to be the point person. Ask other team members to submit updates, too.

“It’ll be harder for your boss to take credit if everyone is in the loop on what’s going on,” says Hawley.

Address mistakes head on

When a problem crops up—and your boss complains to a higher up, or blames you or a team member for the mistake—avoid the temptation to clear your name.

“The boss has egg on his face and is trying to manage his reputation by casting blame elsewhere, ” says Hawley. “You’re not going to improve things if you make an accusation. Some things you just have to let go.”

She suggests scheduling a meeting with your boss for the sole purpose of discussing the error: how it happened, how you can fix it, and how you can keep it from happening again. Your boss may have legitimate reasons for thinking you caused the error and you can clear that up, says Hawley.

The key thing, no matter who caused the error, is to make sure that you focus on solutions.

Play to the boss’s ego

Should your supervisor take credit for your work in a meeting or in front of others, speak up. “You need to make it clear you played a role, but be sure to give him credit, too,” says Hawley. “Your boss may be acting this way because he perceives you as a threat, so you want to take the threat off the table.”

You might say something like, “Bill, that was a great idea you had to do X. I was glad that it gave myself and the team an opportunity to do Y.” This also allows you to acknowledge other people who contributed to the project, so that you don’t end up being perceived as a credit thief by those who report to you!

Make friends in high places

Your boss shouldn’t be the only one who knows about your work. “You need to develop relationships with other higher-ups who can advocate for you,” says Hawley.

Build these relationships by asking senior people for advice on a project you are working on, sharing with them positive feedback from clients and customers, or inviting them to lunch or for a coffee to discuss ideas you have to advance your company’s goals.

Best case scenario, you’ll be on the corner office’s radar when it comes time to replace your slimy supervisor. But at the very least, you’re ensuring that your bad boss doesn’t sink your future prospects at the company. “You can turn this situation around and make it a chance to grow your own career,” Hawley says.

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