The Best Paid CEO In The U.S.? Oracle's Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison, who founded Oracle and has led the company for the past 31 years, is the best paid CEO in the U.S., according to an analysis posted by the Associated Press. Excluding stock option gains, Ellison was paid $84.6 million during the company’s fiscal 2008, which represents a 38% raise compared to fiscal 2007, when Ellison made $61.2 million.

Ellison apparently recommended the increase to Oracle’s compensation committee, which ultimately approved it. According to the committee, Ellison deserved the pay increase since the company’s profit during the 2008 fiscal year climbed by 29% to $5.5 billion and an 18% gain for the company’s tock generated $19 billion in shareholder wealth.

In addition to his pay package, Ellison cashed in 36 million Oracle shares during the year, resulting an additional $544 million, resulting in a total compensation of more than $628 million for the year.

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