Amazon founder Jeff Bezos gets by with $81k salary

Anger over executive pay saw the likes of Aviva boss Andrew Moss and Trinity Mirror’s Sly Bailey fall on their swords last year, but it seems unlikely that the so-called shareholder spring will rear its head at Amazon, the internet retailer that holds its annual meeting next month.

According to a filing with the US Securities & Exchange Commission, founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos received $81,840 (£52,370) in salary for 2012, despite leading a company that generated $61.1 billion in revenues during the year.

His basic pay is about half that of chief financial officer ­Thomas Szkutak, who also received almost $8.3 million in share awards. Andrew Jassy, its senior vice-president of web service, was awarded almost $11.5m.

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In comparison, Apple chief executive Tim Cook received a total package of about $4.2m last year, while share awards boosted Oracle boss Larry Ellison’s remuneration to $96.2m.

Outside the technology sector, investment bank Goldman Sachs paid chairman and chief executive Lloyd Blankfein $21m, the highest since 2007, making him the highest-paid chief among the ten largest US banks.

Although Bezos – who founded Amazon in 1994 and took it public three years later – has received no pay rise or share awards since 2010, he is hardly short of a dollar or two. He ­receives $1.6m a year to pay for “security arrangements” and ­corporate travel.

And his 19.1 per cent stake in Amazon is valued at about $23.5bn, which ranks him as the world’s 20th richest person, according to the Bloomberg ­Billionaires Index.

Amazon, along with fellow US giants Google and Starbucks faced a grilling from MPs in November over its tax affairs in the UK, and last month the group faced a revolt from small traders after announcing a hike in the fees it charges for transactions.

In a letter to shareholders ahead of the annual meeting, to be held on 23 May in Seattle, Bezos said: “I know that we will make mistakes along the way – some will be self-inflicted, some will be served up by smart and hard-working competitors.”