This paper investigates a group of CEOs, such as Steve Jobs of Apple and Eric Schmidt of Google, who receive a zero or one dollar base salary. I show that $1 CEOs receive more option grants and thus higher total compensation. Moreover, $1 CEOs are more likely to be wealthier, and work for larger, riskier, and founding-family ownership firms. However, there is no clear evidence that companies suffer from poor past performance before offering the one-dollar salary, and the one-dollar CEO does not guarantee a better firm performance.
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