AWS boss earns the most
Executive compensation at Amazon (AMZN) varies widely, and if you look at the company’s most recent filings on executive pay structure, it shows that the company’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, isn’t even among the top three highest-paid executives.
It turns out that the leader of Amazon Web Services (or AWS), the company’s cloud computing business, is the highest-paid Amazon employee.
AWS CEO earns $35.6 million versus Bezos’s $1.7 million
In 2016, Amazon released to its co-founder and CEO a modest ~$1.7 million in total compensation. This amount included a salary of less than $82,000. In sharp contrast, AWS’s CEO, Andy Jassy, took home more than $35.6 million in total compensation.
Other top paid Amazon employees include the head of the company’s worldwide consumer business, Jeffrey Wilke, who earned ~$33.0 million, the head of its international consumer business, Diego Piacentini, who earned ~$23.7 million, and the head of business development, Jeffrey Blackburn, who earned $22.2 million.
For perspective, the co-founders of Google (GOOGL), Sergey Brin and Larry Page, took home $1.0 million each in 2016.
Why shower AWS with cash?
Why is Amazon pampering the leader of its cloud business with cash? AWS is one of Amazon’s most important growth engines, if not the most important. You just have to look at the latest quarter’s figures to appreciate the importance of AWS to Amazon.
AWS is growing almost twice as quickly as the whole of Amazon. Its revenue rose 43.0% in 1Q17, when overall revenue at Amazon rose 23.0%. AWS is also Amazon’s most profitable business, with an operating profit margin of more than 23%. The operating margin of Amazon as a whole is in the low single-digit percentage.