REVEALED: The top 10 highest-earning hotel CEOs

Which CEOs are the highest paid in hospitality? The top five may surprise you

Steve Wynn
Steve Wynn
Arne Sorenson
Arne Sorenson
Stephen Holmes
Stephen Holmes
Frits van Paasschen
Frits van Paasschen
Sheldon Adelson
Sheldon Adelson
James Murran
James Murran
Richard Solomons
Richard Solomons
Christopher Nassetta
Christopher Nassetta
Mark Hoplamazian
Mark Hoplamazian
Stephen Joyce
Stephen Joyce

Hospitality is definitely a numbers game – RevPAR, in-house spend-per-guest, biggest hotel, largest restaurant, most helipads.

And though the bosses at most companies are big earners, this list of top-earning CEOs’s salaries is eye-wateringly high. Compiled by travel industry intelligence and marketing platform Skift, the list is based on U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

The numbers include main salary, benefits in kind, bonuses, and any compensation throughout the year. All of the big names such as Marriott, Wyndham, IHG and Hyatt made the list, but some of the top earners for 2014 may surprise you.

Steve Wynn – American-born billionaire Wynn is often credited for helping the Las Vegas strip get back on its feet during its nadir in the 1990s. Wynn owns four giant properties: Wynn Macau, Encoure at Wynn Macau, Wynn Las Vegas and Encore Las Vegas. Properties in development include Wynn Palace in Macau, opening in 2016 and Wynn Everett, a casino near Boston. Wynn Resorts and his other companies either built or refurbished such well known Vegas properties as the Golden Nuget, the Bellagio and the Mirage. (photo)

Total compensation: $25,322,854

Arne Sorenson – Marriott International’s big boss is the first person outside of the Marriott family to lead the company, which is the world’s largest publically-traded hotel company. Tokyo-born Sorenson has been Marriott’s CEO since 2012 and was previously a mergers & acquisitions solicitor and the director of American mega-brand Wal-Mart. Marriott was founded in 1927 and had 4,000 properties worldwide as of 2014. (photo)

Total compensation: $14,892,836

Stephen Holmes – Head of Wyndham Worldwide since 2006, Holmes was formerly with car rental brand Avis’s hospitality division. Both Wyndham and Avis were formerly under the umbrella of the now defunct Cedant Corporation. In adition to its many hotel brands, Wyndham owns Planet Hollywood and operates Wyndham Rewards – currently the highest-yielding rewards programme for a hotel.

Total compensation: $14,111,891

Frits van Paasschen – The Starwood Hotels president and CEO resigned in February 2015, and was one of the top five earners for 2014. Before his eight-year stint at Starwood, van Paaschen held posts at Molson Coors Brewing Company; Goldman Sachs & co; Nike, Inc; and the Walt Disney Company. Starwood operates international brands such as St. Regis, W Hotels and Sheraton. Adam Aron is currently Starwood’s acting CEO, with van Paasschen’s replacement yet to be announced.

Total compensation: $12,001,943

Sheldon Adelson – the eighth richest person in the world, according to Forbes, Adelson is chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, which owns Vegas properties the Palazzo and the Venetian, as well as several properties in Macau. Adelson is also involved in journalism, owning a daily newspaper. The entrepreneur has not been university educated and claims he started his career at the age of 12, when he began selling newspapers.

Total compensation: $11,991,724

James Murran -- Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts since 2008, Murran was not part of the hostile acquisition of Steve Wynn’s Mirage Resorts in 2000. With MGM since 1998, he was previously director of Deutsche Bank. Partnering with Dubai World, MGM built CityCenter, a mixed-use urban complex in Las Vegas. Murran is chair of the American Gaming Association Board of Directors. MGM has been voted by many organisations as one of the most diverse companies in America, with 38% and 43% of its management being minorities and women, respectively.

Total compensation: $10,183,159

Richard Solomons – British-born CEO of InterContinental Hotels Group since 2011, Solomons has been with the group for 23 years. Before that, he was an investment banker in London and New York City. Originally founded in Brazil in 1946, IHG was bought by British beverage company Bass Brewery in 1998. With a an expanding presence in the Middle East and elsewhere, IHG is currently constructing Los Angeles’ tallest skyscraper, Wiltshire Grand Center, 40 floors of which wil be hotel.

Total compensation: $10,133,576

Christopher Nassetta – President and CEO of Hilton Worldwide, Inc. since 2007, Nassetta was previously with Host Hotels & Resorts and also co-founded Bailey Capital Corporation. Nassetta is popularly credited on Wall Street for reviving the Hilton brand to its heyday of the 1960s. Hilton has been ranked as the 38th largest privately held company in the U.S. by Forbes and is building a Waldorf-Astoria in Doha, Qatar, amongst other Middle East development plans.

Total compensation: $9,902,214

Mark S. Hoplamazian -- Harvard graduate Hoplamazian has been president and CEO of Hyatt Hotels Corporation since 2006. Before joining Hyatt, he managed the merchant banking and asset management activities for The Pritzker Organization. Hyatt is building two hotels in Saudi Arabia, expected to open in August of this year and Q4 2016, as well as a resort in Sri Lanka, opening in Q4 of this year.

Total compensation: $6,266,481

Stephen Joyce – CEO of Choice Hotels International for the past seven years, Joyce has been involved in the hospitality trade since 1982. Before Choice Hotels, he worked for Marriott in several capacities and also serves as Chairman of the U.S. Travel Association. Choice Hotels is a holding company which has many mid-range and some brands. It has properties in India and Singapore, but none yet in the Middle East.

Total compensation: $5,317,053

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