NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- When Hillary Clinton launched her presidential bid in April, she came out strong against excessive CEO pay. But did you know the executives of some of the biggest corporations in the United States have a base salary of just one dollar or less?
Jack Dorsey, the new interim CEO of Twitter (TWTR), is the latest chief executive of a major U.S. company to have a radically low salary compared to his position, according to a filing with the SEC this week: "At your request, you have agreed to forego any compensation for your role as Interim Chief Executive Officer until the Compensation Committee agree upon a compensation package for you at the same time that it conducts its annual assessment and setting of executive compensation later in the year. Until a compensation package is finalized, you will be entitled to no cash or equity compensation for your services as Interim Chief Executive Officer."
He's not alone.
Apple (AAPL) founder Steve Jobs famously adopted a dollar-a-year salary upon returning to the firm in 1997 and maintained the pay scheme through his 2011 resignation. During his time as CEO, Jobs received limited bonuses and perks as well, one major exception being the $90 million Gulfstream V airplane he was awarded in 1999. But what he wasn't making in base salary (and airplanes) he made up for in other ways, including the ownership of 5.5 million Apple shares and 138 million Disney (DIS) shares, which have paid him rich dividends.
In other words, Jobs wasn't going hungry. Nor are the current corporate executives whose annual salaries are, essentially, nil.
What CEOs aren't getting in base pay they often receive in stock, options, bonuses and perks. In many cases, they've already amassed fortunes large enough to render any reasonable base pay irrelevant. For others, reduced salary agreements are only temporary.
Hewlett-Packard's (HP) dollar salary agreement with Meg Whitman wasn't forever. Upon joining the company in 2011, her initial salary was established at $1 per year, "reflecting the company's planned turnaround." In 2014, her pay was bumped up to $1.5 million -- a reward for her moving things in the right direction, including HP's impending split.
Jen-Hsun Huang, founder and CEO of Nvidia (NVDA), voluntarily decreased his salary to $1 in 2009 and 2010 as part of company-wide cost-cutting efforts. In 2011, his pay was restored. Vikram Pandit, former CEO of Citigroup (C), said in 2009 he would take a $1 salary and forego a bonus until the bank returned to profitability. In January 2011, his base salary was increased to to $1.75 million.
So who is in the $1 club now? Here's a look at 10 CEOs who are making next-to-nothing in base salaries -- and where they're making up for it, compensation-wise.
1. Jack Dorsey, Twitter
Base salary: $0
Despite receiving no compensation of any kind from Twitter, Dorsey isn't hurting. His net worth currently stands at $2.6 billion, which he amassed primarily through his holdings in Twitter and mobile payments company Square, which he founded in 2009 (and presumably still draws a salary from -- Square has not yet responded to request for comment). Dorsey, 38, owns 26% of Square, according to Bloomberg. Dorsey is also a board member of The Walt Disney Co. (DIS) and owns shares in the media and entertainment company. Disney pays dividends, giving Dorsey some income from his ownership.