Introducing HR’s Elite, the industry’s highest-paid execs

According to research by Equilar, in fiscal year 2019, the 50 highest-paid HR executives at Russell 3000 companies received an average annual compensation package of nearly $4.3 million, up from $3.6 million the year before. That 17.8% increase marks the third year in a row that HR executive compensation grew; it increased by 11.6% in 2018 and 7.8% the year before.

The 2019 HR’s Elite list was culled from a database of former and current HR executives at Russell 3000 companies who were among the five most highly compensated officers at their organizations. In determining the rankings, Equilar calculated total compensation as the sum of base salary, discretionary and performance-based cash bonuses, and the grant-date value of stock and option awards. (Benefits and perquisites were excluded from the calculation.)

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Last year, Apple Inc.’s Deirdre O’Brien was the highest-paid HR executive, bringing home more than $19 million. Of note, the number of women in the top 10 doubled between 2018 and 2019—from four to eight. Of the executives who appeared on the 2018 and 2019 top 50 lists, Nancy Philips of Neilsen Holdings plc reported the biggest earnings boost—jumping from the 40th spot to the 16th; Scott Milsten of e.l.f. Beauty Inc. dropped 15 places to 46th.

Equilar also tracked compensation trends that offered insight into industry shifts. For instance, there was a slight decrease in the number of top-50 executives who received a bonus payout, from 88% to 84%. The value of that bonus also dropped nearly 9%, from about $640,000 to about $580,000. While HR executive compensation rose steadily, it outpaced the growth of CEO compensation; CEOs at the companies with the 50 highest-paid HR executives saw their compensation increase, on average, 4.8%.

See the top 10 in the slideshow below, followed by the rest of the top 50 below.

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  1. Anne-Marie Law, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Experience Officer
    Alexion Pharmaceuticals
  • HR exec total pay: $5,105,433
  • CEO total pay: $18,923,634
  • Dollars paid per employee: $1,657
  • Annual income ($MM): $2,404.3
  • Total employees: 3,082

12. Kathleen Cullen-Cote*, Chief Human Resources Officer
Teradata

  • HR exec total pay: $4,626,985
  • CEO total pay: $4,940,196
  • Dollars paid per employee: $542
  • Annual income ($MM): $(20.0)
  • Total employees: 8,535
  1. Christopher Clason*, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
    Cimarex Energy
  • HR exec total pay: $4,411,212
  • CEO total pay: $8,887,324
  • Dollars paid per employee: $4,469
  • Annual income ($MM): $(131.2)
  • Total employees: 987
  1. Matthew Schuyler, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
    Hilton
  • HR exec total pay: $4,314,206
  • CEO total pay: $20,938,778
  • Dollars paid per employee: $25
  • Annual income ($MM): $881.0
  • Total employees: 173,000
  1. Claudine Naughton*, Chief People Officer
    Blizzard-Activision
  • HR exec total pay: $4,290,249
  • CEO total pay: $30,034,690
  • Dollars paid per employee: $472
  • Annual income ($MM): $1,503.0
  • Total employees: 9,080
  1. Mary Finch, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
    DXC Technology Company
  • HR exec total pay: $4,195,484
  • CEO total pay: $13,258,672
  • Dollars paid per employee: $30
  • Annual income ($MM): $(5,369.0)
  • Total employees: 138,000
  1. Alan May, Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer
    Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company
  • HR exec total pay: $4,016,091
  • CEO total pay: $13,443,825
  • Dollars paid per employee: $65
  • Annual income ($MM): $1,049
  • Total employees: 61,600
  1. Piyush Mehta, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
    Genpact
  • HR exec total pay: $3,964,409
  • CEO total pay: $7,538,256
  • Dollars paid per employee: $41
  • Annual income ($MM): $304.9
  • Total employees: 96,500
  1. Tracy Skeans, Chief Transformation and People Officer
    Yum! Brands
  • HR exec total pay: $3,949,651
  • CEO total pay: $15,591,540
  • Dollars paid per employee: $116
  • Annual income ($MM): $1,294.0
  • Total employees: 34,000
  1. Patricia Maxson, Global Chief Human Resources Officer and Chief Administrative Officer
    Jones Lang LaSalle
  • HR exec total pay: $3,937,655
  • CEO total pay: $9,203,413
  • Dollars paid per employee: $42
  • Annual income ($MM): $534
  • Total employees: 93,400
  1. Amy Cappellanti-Wolf†, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
    NortonLifeLock
  • HR exec total pay: $3,902,911
  • CEO total pay: $1,000,000
  • Dollars paid per employee: $328
  • Annual income ($MM): $16
  • Total employees: 11,900
  1. Neil Marchuk, Executive Vice President, Human Resources
    Howmet Aerospace
  • HR exec total pay: $3,891,850
  • CEO total pay: $51,388,167
  • Dollars paid per employee: $93
  • Annual income ($MM): $468.0
  • Total employees: 41,700
  1. Nikki Krishnamurthy, Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer
    Uber Technologies
  • HR exec total pay: $3,881,220
  • CEO total pay: $40,434,334
  • Dollars paid per employee: $144
  • Annual income ($MM): $(8,506.0)
  • Total employees: 26,900
  1. Ronald Schellekens*, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
    PepsiCo
  • HR exec total pay: $3,872,948
  • CEO total pay: $13,777,016
  • Dollars paid per employee: $15
  • Annual income ($MM): $7,314
  • Total employees: 267,000
  1. Lucia Celona*†, Chief People Officer
    Apellis Pharmaceuticals
  • HR exec total pay: $3,756,187
  • CEO total pay: $4,267,182
  • Dollars paid per employee: $15,984
  • Annual income ($MM): $(304.7)
  • Total employees: 235
  1. Shelley Milano, Chief Human Resources Officer
    L Brands
  • HR exec total pay: $3,204,333
  • CEO total pay: $2,853,083
  • Dollars paid per employee: $126
  • Annual income ($MM): $(366)
  • Total employees: 25,500
  1. Marcia Avedon, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Communications and Corporate Affairs
    Trane Technologies
  • HR exec total pay: $3,147,095
  • CEO total pay: $14,662,998
  • Dollars paid per employee: $63
  • Annual income ($MM): $1,370
  • Total employees: 50,000
  1. Lisa Buckingham, Executive Vice President and Chief People, Place and Brand Officer
    Lincoln National
  • HR exec total pay: $3,129,669
  • CEO total pay: $14,256,935
  • Dollars paid per employee: $276
  • Annual income ($MM): $886
  • Total employees: 11,357
  1. Nancy Phillips, Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer
    ViacomCBS
  • HR exec total pay: $3,123,791
  • CEO total pay: $8,354,430
  • Dollars paid per employee: $130
  • Annual income ($MM): $3,270
  • Total employees: 23,990
  1. Pamela Tondreau†, Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary
    Cypress Semiconductor
  • HR exec total pay: $2,858,339
  • CEO total pay: $9,133,193
  • Dollars paid per employee: $487
  • Annual income ($MM): $40
  • Total employees: 5,871
  1. Lynn McKee, Executive Vice President, Human Resources
    Aramark
  • HR exec total pay: $2,842,603
  • CEO total pay: $4,440,296
  • Dollars paid per employee: $10
  • Annual income ($MM): $449
  • Total employees: 280,000
  1. David Kinard, Executive Vice President, Human Resources
    Elanco Animal Health
  • HR exec total pay: $2,826,586
  • CEO total pay: $15,782,347
  • Dollars paid per employee: $465
  • Annual income ($MM): $68
  • Total employees: 6,080
  1. Paul Moskowitz, Executive Vice President, Human Resources
    Sysco
  • HR exec total pay: $2,759,213
  • CEO total pay: $10,593,404
  • Dollars paid per employee: $40
  • Annual income ($MM): $1,674
  • Total employees: 69,000  
  1. Raina Moskowitz, Senior Vice President, People, Strategy and Services
    Etsy
  • HR exec total pay: $2,737,252
  • CEO total pay: $1,075,000
  • Dollars paid per employee: $2,207
  • Annual income ($MM): $96
  • Total employees: 1,240
  1. Ernie Meyer, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
    Portola Pharmaceuticals
  • HR exec total pay: $2,708,085
  • CEO total pay: $4,350,682
  • Dollars paid per employee: $6,637
  • Annual income ($MM): $(291)
  • Total employees: 408
  1. Carmel Galvin, Senior Vice President, People and Places and Chief Human Resources Officer
    Autodesk
  • HR exec total pay: $2,705,438
  • CEO total pay: $11,518,942
  • Dollars paid per employee: $268
  • Annual income ($MM): $215
  • Total employees: 10,100
  1. Mariya Trickett, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
    Aptiv
  • HR exec total pay: $2,703,653
  • CEO total pay: $14,896,267
  • Dollars paid per employee: $19
  • Annual income ($MM): $990
  • Total employees: 141,000
  1. Robin Kranich, Executive Vice President, Human Resources
    Gartner
  • HR exec total pay: $2,610,604
  • CEO total pay: $11,832,281
  • Dollars paid per employee: $156
  • Annual income ($MM): $233
  • Total employees: 16,724
  1. Mara Swan†, Executive Vice President, Global Strategy and Talent
    ManpowerGroup
  • HR exec total pay: $2,593,750
  • CEO total pay: $12,495,609
  • Dollars paid per employee: $93
  • Annual income ($MM): $466
  • Total employees: 28,000
  1. Scott Crum, Chief Human Resources Officer
    MSCI
  • HR exec total pay: $2,516,855
  • CEO total pay: $9,234,270
  • Dollars paid per employee: $741
  • Annual income ($MM): $564
  • Total employees: 3,396
  1. Tracy Faber, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
    McKesson
  • HR exec total pay: $2,510,901
  • CEO total pay: $14,779,191
  • Dollars paid per employee: $42
  • Annual income ($MM): $906
  • Total employees: 60,000
  1. Tchernavia Rocker*, Chief People and Culture Officer
    Under Armour
  • HR exec total pay: $2,501,880
  • CEO total pay: $5,946,000
  • Dollars paid per employee: $357
  • Annual income ($MM): $92
  • Total employees: 7,000
  1. Natalia Johnson, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
    Public Storage
  • HR exec total pay: $2,450,820
  • CEO total pay: $4,273,000
  • Dollars paid per employee: $415
  • Annual income ($MM): $1,273
  • Total employees: 5,900
  1. Robert Duffy, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Administration
    L3Harris Technologies
  • HR exec total pay: $2,424,969
  • CEO total pay: $14,834,068
  • Dollars paid per employee: $133
  • Annual income ($MM): $951
  • Total employees: 18,200
  1. Dean McKenna, Senior Vice President, Human Resources
    Belden
  • HR exec total pay: $2,409,003
  • CEO total pay: $6,846,499
  • Dollars paid per employee: $344
  • Annual income ($MM): $91
  • Total employees: 7,000
  1. Sharon Brunecz, Chief Human Resources Officer
    Amedisys
  • HR exec total pay: $2,380,811
  • CEO total pay: $12,801,092
  • Dollars paid per employee: $112
  • Annual income ($MM): $127
  • Total employees: 21,300
  1. Maurice Harapiak, Executive Vice President, Human Resources and Chief Administration Officer
    Cleveland-Cliffs
  • HR exec total pay: $2,349,014
  • CEO total pay: $14,650,131
  • Dollars paid per employee: $990
  • Annual income ($MM): $295
  • Total employees: 2,372
  1. S. Nicole Schaeffer, Chief People Strategy Officer
    Insmed Incorporated
  • HR exec total pay: $2,296,896
  • CEO total pay: $7,113,137
  • Dollars paid per employee: $5,280
  • Annual income ($MM): $(254)
  • Total employees: 435
  1. Elizabeth Ardoin, Senior Executive Vice President and Director, Communications, Corporate Real Estate and Human Resources
    IBERIABANK
  • HR exec total pay: $2,287,397
  • CEO total pay: $9,892,775
  • Dollars paid per employee: $678
  • Annual income ($MM): $368
  • Total employees: 3,373
  1. Lias Steen, Executive Vice President, Human Resources and Legal
    Oil States International
  • HR exec total pay: $2,280,449
  • CEO total pay: $4,361,858
  • Dollars paid per employee: $665
  • Annual income ($MM): $(232)
  • Total employees: 3,428

Symbols:      

  • * New executive
  • † Former executive
  • ◊ No longer has HR in title, but still with company

Source: Equilar, Inc.

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