Here's How Much Coca-Cola's CEO Really Makes

Leading a massive corporation may seem like a dream to many, but with great power comes great responsibility. Huge decisions inevitably have huge consequences, so even one word entered carelessly into a computer could bring reputation and profits crashing down in an instant.

Of course, the stress of industry titans is likely to be considerably offset by the big bucks that executives are known to earn. An analysis by the Institute for Policy Studies showed the average annual pay for executives who helm some of America's biggest brands was $15.3 million in 2020 (via The Guardian). The research also found ordinary workers for the same companies earned a yearly average of $28,187.

All that money does create problems of its own, such as what to do with the gallons of champagne that require drinking on a daily basis. That could well be less of a problem for the CEO of Coca-Cola, James Quincey, who is known to be a major fan of Coke Zero (via The Coca-Cola Company). Not that Quincey is in any way short of cash – he receives a multi-million-dollar paycheck every year (via Food Dive).

Coca-Cola pays James Quincey tens of millions dollars to lead the firm

Details released by ExecPay show that Quincey receives an annual pay of around $18 million from Coca-Cola. As his salary only comprises $1.6 million, the rest of the earnings are made up of various items, including stock awards, a bonus, and the change in pension value.

Food Dive notes that Quincey's Coca-Cola pay has increased steadily by millions of dollars since he took over running the company in 2017. ExecPay reports figures showing the next highest-paid executive receives $7.3 million, possibly evidencing the belief the firm has in Quincey. However, the same data indicates that the median pay for Coca-Cola employees was $11,342 in 2020.

Given that The Coca-Cola Company notes that Quincey is a director of pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc and vice co-chair of The Consumer Goods Forum and that Coca-Cola achieved $33 billion based on data last updated in May (via Forbes), it seems reasonable to predict that Quincey can expect further giant payouts in the future.