Intel CEO's compensation still trails AMD CEO's by half — despite a significant boost in 2023

Pat Gelsinger and Lisa Su
(Image credit: Pat Gelsinger / Lisa Su on X)

Earlier this week it was revealed that Intel’s CEO Pat Gelsinger earned a big rise in compensation in 2023. However, the extra millions mean Gelsinger is still only receiving approximately half the total compensation AMD CEO Lisa Su receives, reports MarketWatch. We don’t have the final 2023 figures for Nvidia’s Jensen Huang yet, but impressive stock gains have already propelled the leader of the green team into becoming the world's 21st richest person.

Gelsinger’s compensation details came from Intel’s 2024 proxy statement, which came out on Thursday. The financial documents showed the Intel CEO enjoyed a 45% rise in total compensation from $11.61 million in 2022, to $16.86 million in 2023.

Overall, this seems fair if we look at Intel's stock performance over the same period. During 2023 Intel stock gained over 90% in value. But 2022 wasn’t such a good year, with Intel stock dropping nearly 20%, and Gelsinger’s compensation fell a similar amount compared to the previous year.

AMD also released a proxy statement last week. According to the statement, the CEO, Dr Lisa Su, received $30.35 million in total compensation in 2023. This amounts to basically the same as her 2022 compensation. However, it remains about 80% ahead of the Intel CEO’s annual compensation.

Stock makes a big difference

All the total compensation figures we have highlighted include a mix of a base salary, stock awards and options, plus other bonuses and incentives. Both the above CEO total compensation figures are boosted significantly by stock awards. For example, Gelsinger’s 2023 salary was ‘just’ $1.07 million, but he earned $12.43 million in stock awards. Meanwhile, Su’s 2023 salary was $1.2 million, but she got $27.69 in stock and options, among other bonuses and incentives.

Swipe to scroll horizontally

CEO Compensation

Intel

AMD

Nvidia

2022

$11.61 million

$30.22 million

$21.36 million

2023

$16.86 million

$30.35 million

$?

The (green) elephant in the room

By now you might be wondering about how Jensen Huang has fared in terms of his total compensation for 2023. Sadly, the full figures for the last fiscal year haven’t yet been published by Nvidia. 

We know that the year previously, Huang’s total compensation was $21.36 million, and we know Nvidia stock went up an amazing 239% over the course of last year. In brief, Huang probably had a decent total compensation uplift in 2023, we are just waiting on the official figures for full and confirmed details.

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.

  • ezst036
    Honestly, I couldn't care less.

    Last time I did the math on CEO pay I came to realize that it works out to be like a penny per card. (This was about maybe a year or two ago, on Nvidia cards)

    CEO pay just does not affect me. Nor does it actually affect anybody else. Except penny pinchers.
    Reply
  • LibertyWell
    These salaries are completely fraudulent to begin with... I can't fathom why Tomshardware is highlighting this as if the Intel golden circle member make less than the AMD one is some how a travesty of justice. Here's how this criminal activity works:

    Most CEOs sit on each others boards and vote themselves higher pay at the expense of their workers and shareholders. Every year their pay packages balloon a little more, with each new high watermark in compensation raising the yachts of all executives (because in CEO land, pay is based on what the other CEOs get) while the boat-less employees get left behind decade after decade. The corporate controlled media then jumps in and trumpets how valuable the executives are based on their completely engineered salaries (because gosh darn it, if the CEOs weren't worth that much they wouldn't be getting paid that much) and people like Jim Cramer jump to their defense like a loaded spring when those stories are challenged for being the propaganda they are.

    In 1950 CEOs made 20-1 the average worker. In 1980 it was 42-1. In 2000 it was 120-1. In 2014 it is 204-1.

    This did not happen by happy accident.
    Reply
  • ezst036
    LibertyWell said:
    Every year their pay packages balloon a little more, with each new high watermark in compensation raising the yachts of all executives (because in CEO land, pay is based on what the other CEOs get) while the boat-less employees get left behind decade after decade.

    I find math to be fascinating. You said Intel. Ok.

    The article says that Gelsinger made $11.61 million, let's just use 12 million to have a nice easy number to work with, and divide it by four. Let's give 75% to the employees. Ready! 9 million, just for them.

    The challenge is, how many employees are we talking about? Well, what kind of employee? Engineers are a good, solid perhaps more mid-level kind of employee and not say, a janitor. Intel claims to have 15,000 software engineers. Ok, great. What reason do I have to distrust this number?
    https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/software/software-partnerships.html
    How many hardware engineers does Intel employ? A little harder to discern, but between 20,000 employees in Oregon and 12,000 employees in Arizona, perhaps we can say that 25,000 employees are hardware engineers? Yes, I'm making that up but it does give us something to work with. Why don't we just play it safe and say there's only 10,000 hardware engineers? That's probably a low-ball, but that's ok.

    https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/corporate-responsibility/community-global-sites.html
    Between 10,000 hardware engineers and 15,000 software engineers, we have 25,000 total engineers.

    I love it! Maths is so much funs! What's 9 million divided by 25,000?

    It's a number that I'm more mad at about taking this time to doing the maths, than mad I can get about CEO pay.

    We have $360 dollars. That's three hundred and sixty dollars per person.

    Now in my lifetime I have seen boats for sale for $360 dollars. Guess what condition the boat was in?

    Yes, maths are very fun, but it really hurts people's ability to get revenge-oriented.

    Let's even be nice and say that Intel employees zero - zero hardware engineers anywhere on the planet! Which we all know is false, but let's only rely on the number we can trust. 15,000 software engineers.

    When we do the fun maths we arrive at $600 dollar per person. I wouldn't set foot in a boat valued at $600 dollars. Would you?

    I'll close with this. I hear you - I hear the deep anger in what you typed, I just don't know what realistic basis it's founded on.

    (The Nvidia math was even easier than this. Nvidia sold like 20 million cards three years ago, and Jensen Huang's pay was 20 million. It was the biggest penny I'd ever seen.)

    EDIT: Now, why don't we just give all of Gelsinger's 12 million away? Won't get one stinking penny! Also, we have to be truthful. We all know Intel has hardware engineers on its payroll. But let's use an even smaller number that is obviously unrealistic, only 5000 hardware engineers. So in total, Intel employs 20,000 software/hardware engineers.

    What's 12 million divided by 20,000 engineers? It's again, 600 dollars. These are people who normally make upwards of 80,000, 90,000, and probably 100,000 or over 100,000 dollars every year and that's not including total compensation such as health/dental/401k.

    How is 600 dollars worth so much anger over a long period? People spend years, decades of their lives being hateful over this. Why? That's not even enough to spoil a good pot of coffee. If I made 80k and was told by my boss I was getting a big fat bonus this year of a whopping 600 dollars, do you know how much of an insult that would be?

    Maths, it turns out, just isn't any fun at all. It's a coffee spoiler.
    Reply
  • PEnns
    There is always somebody wasting time and bandwidth defending any CEO's obscene salary and golden parachute.
    But especially if said CEO happens to be the big cheese of their favorite company.

    But one should ask, why does TH deem this a worthy technological subject??
    Reply
  • slightnitpick
    ezst036 said:
    Honestly, I couldn't care less.

    Last time I did the math on CEO pay I came to realize that it works out to be like a penny per card. (This was about maybe a year or two ago, on Nvidia cards)

    CEO pay just does not affect me. Nor does it actually affect anybody else. Except penny pinchers.
    It affects employees when some are laid off, fired-and-rehired as benefitless "consultants", or have lower salary increases due to finances. It affects shareholders by diluting the number of shares. This is significant for individual employees, less significant for the average employee, and barely significant for the shareholders (barring Musk-sized share dilution), but it's wrong to say it doesn't "actually affect anybody else".

    I don't like the way this article is framed. It implies that Gelsinger's compensation needs to, or morally should, catch up with Su's.
    ezst036 said:
    I find math to be fascinating. You said Intel. Ok.

    The article says that Gelsinger made $11.61 million, let's just use 12 million to have a nice easy number to work with, and divide it by four. Let's give 75% to the employees. Ready! 9 million, just for them.

    The challenge is, how many employees are we talking about?
    $11.61 million is the 2022 figure, that increased in 2023. Most of that was stock based compensation. I believe if those were options and not grants that it involved Gelsinger/Su paying money to their company to exercise the options, so this isn't a straight wash in terms of cash disgorged by Intel/AMD.

    See my text above to your earlier comment on why this "math" is wrongly based in general. $9 million equals about 45 low 6-figure salaries + benefits + overhead.

    You can't just take a normal curve with a positive kurtosis (or even worse assume equal distribution) and base your math on that, you have to see what kind of curve actually models the underlying causes and effects generating the data, and then work from that. When talking about compensation in this era we're dealing with power law curves. $12 million may average out to $600 / employee, but it actually means that some employees get $6,000 (significant even for an engineer), others $600, and others nothing at all in bonuses.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    Admin said:
    earned a big rise
    Skyrise?
    Raise, he earned, or "earned" a raise.

    Also this here is the meat and potatoes of this article, Lisa takes more shares and those could be worth nothing by the time she would be able to redeem them.
    AMD stock has been a couple of bucks before.
    For example, Gelsinger’s 2023 salary was ‘just’ $1.07 million, but he earned $12.43 million in stock awards. Meanwhile, Su’s 2023 salary was $1.2 million, but she got $27.69 in stock and options, among other bonuses and incentives.
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    "earned a big rise"
    TerryLaze said:
    Skyrise?

    Raise, he earned, or "earned" a raise.


    England and America are two countries separated by the same language
    - George Bernard Shaw (probably)
    Reply
  • Findecanor
    Why should I care about what the super-rich make in salary in comparison to one-another?
    That's not newsworthy.
    Reply
  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    What journalists should do: Call out the effective duopoly in the CPU (AMD & Intel) and GPU (AMD and nVidia) markets and how they use their position to collude to keep prices ever going skyward and, as a result, consumers paying ever increasing prices while CEOs and other executives make tens of millions of dollars for their efforts.

    What journalists do: Articles like this.
    Reply
  • wwenze1
    ezst036 said:
    Honestly, I couldn't care less.

    Last time I did the math on CEO pay I came to realize that it works out to be like a penny per card. (This was about maybe a year or two ago, on Nvidia cards)

    CEO pay just does not affect me. Nor does it actually affect anybody else. Except penny pinchers.

    Yes, this is a very good way to look at costs.

    In the same vein, the firmware of the card is probably written by someone who was paid 0.01 cent per card. Enjoy your card.
    Reply