Why are some CEO’s such as musk and bezos so rich while other CEO’s of similar companies are worth so little in comparison


Jeff Bezos is worth about 150B$, this is extremely high, but other people, such as the ceo of Goldman Sachs is only worth about 1.3million$, and even the ceo of apple and apple is only worth around 1.8Billion. What is the cause for such a high difference of weath between these people even though the company are comparable in size.

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They are the founders of the company so own a decent chunk of it. The others are hired after the company already exists so get a small (comparatively) stock amount as part of their job compensation.

It’s nothing to do with being the CEO, it’s because they own a large chunk of the company. This typically only happens with founders (people who *started* the company). It’s really common for one of the founders to also be the CEO but their extreme wealth is coming from the chunk of the company they own, not becaue they’re the CEO.

Goldman Sachs is over 150 years old, all the founders are dead. The biggest shareholder in Goldman today is Vanguard Group; their share is worth about $10 billion (but they only own ~9% of the company).

Apple’s has three founders; one sold his share back to the two Steves early on, and one is dead, leaving only Steve Wozniak alive, and Wozniak left Apple in 1985 long before they got as valuable as they are now.


Note: Musk “lost” 100 billion in the last week. Most of his “worth” is based on the value of his stock, which dropped after he had to buy twitter.

Imagine running a lemonade stand selling cups of lemonade to all the thirsty people passing by. It’s a thriving success.. with a line of people around the block every day wanting to buy your lemonade.

Some people notice the success of your lemonade stand, seeing how much lemonade it sells, and would like to invest in it. They ask if they can purchase part of your business in exchange for being a part owner themselves. You could use the money this would bring for all sorts of things so you begin to sell ownership of the lemonade stand in small pieces, called shares or stock. Even though you’re selling pieces of your business you still want to be the “big boss”, so you make sure you always retain a majority of the shares.

Your lemonade stand continues to do great, and people are willing to pay more, and more, and more for the opportunity to be part owner. As a result the value of your shares goes up, which means your net worth goes up. A lot. More then someone who doesn’t own as many shares in their successful business.

This is essentially what’s going here. Musk and Bezos were the founders and / or early investors of their businesses. They own or owned huge stakes in businesses which have skyrocket in value. A CEO who is promoted to the rank but wasn’t a founder or early investor isn’t going to have nearly the same equity stake in a business. So if it’s successful they’ll be successful too, but not nearly to the same degree.

Musk and Bezos are pretty much completely responsible for the current state of those companies, and much of their income is related to owning shares in those companies. So their wealth isn’t directly related to their income as a CEO.

If Musk had invested in “fast cars Ltd” rather than Tesla, then he would be just as rich due to his shares in fast cars ltd, and Tesla would have gone bankrupt years ago.

With the CEO of Goldman Sachs, any half decent CEO could have been in charge.