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Lisa Su: CEO becomes first woman ever to top Associated Press pay survey

Louise Hall

The CEO of Advanced Micro Devices has become the first woman ever to top the Associated Press’s annual pay survey.

Lisa Su, 50, had a total pay package of $58.5m (£48m) in her role as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in 2019, around $13m (£11m) higher than the highest-paid male CEO in the survey of S&P's 500 companies.

Ms Su is a Taiwanese-American business executive and electrical engineer, known for her work developing semiconductor technologies.

Her total compensation in 2019 was four times greater than her pay the year before, with stock awards for performance added to her base salary of $1m (£800,000) and a performance-based bonus of $1.2m (£980,000). The stock awards are vested over several years.

Ms Su began her role as CEO in 2014, and since then the company's stock rose from around $3 (£2.45) to about $55 (£45). Overall, 2019 was one of Advanced Micro Devices' strongest years.

Overall on the AP's survey, pay for women was up 2.3% versus 5.4% for men, when looking at the median change in compensation.

The median total pay for women on the list was $13.9m (£11.3m), versus $12.3m (£10m) for men.

Women remained significantly under-represented as CEOs, heading just 5% percent of S&P 500 companies with a total of 20 women on the AP's list, versus 309 men.

“Women are making incremental progress achieving leadership positions in the C-suite,” said Lorraine Hariton, President & CEO of Catalyst, a nonprofit organisation focused on women in the workplace.

“However, the fact remains that women CEOs still represent a disproportionately small share of corporate leadership, and women of colour aren’t represented at all.”

The survey was part of the AP’s annual review of companies in the S&P 500 which began in 2011 and is conducted by Equilar. The analysis only includes CEOs who have been in their job for two years.

The data was measured before the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic and considers a combination of salary, bonus, perks, stock awards, and deferred compensation.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

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