Big Paychecks -

Big Paychecks –

The chief executives of America’s 500 biggest companies got a collective 38% pay raise last year, to $7.5 billion. That’s an average $15.2 million apiece. Exercised stock options again account for the main component of pay, 48%. The average stock gain was $7.3 million.

The highest-paid boss of the 500 companies we tracked: Apple (nasdaq: AAPL – news – people ) chief Steve Jobs. He drew a nominal $1 salary but realized $647 million from vested restricted stock last year.

Nice job Steve! Now, please reconsider that Cingular/AT&T exclusivity nonsense for the iPhone.