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Here Are the Fortune 500’s Best-Paid Product Pushers

Jeremy Burton, president of products and marketing, EMC.Jeremy Burton, president of products and marketing, EMC.
Jeremy Burton, president of products and marketing, EMC. Nicole Connolly Photography by

Top marketing executives have gained clout over the last decade as businesses devote more of their budgets to marketing products and services. Jobs such as finding leads, targeting email or mobile campaigns, and attracting would-be customers to a company’s web site and the like take considerable skill.

Increasingly, chief marketing officers are getting technology budgets of their own to make that happen.

Tech giants including Oracle (ORCL), Salesforce (CRM), IBM (IBM), Adobe Systems (ADBE), and SAP (SAP) have spent tens of billions of dollars between themselves acquiring marketing automation companies over the past few years. Why? As noted above and to paraphrase what infamous thief Willie Sutton reportedly said when asked why he robbed banks: “That’s where the money is.”

So, you might wonder which marketing chiefs make the most money? The folks over at DiscoverOrg, a sales analytics software company, decided to find out. They went through the proxies of Fortune 500 companies to come up with a new best-paid list of marketers. The company already compiled a similar list of best-paid chief information officers.

For more, read: Fortune 500’s Highest-Paid Tech Execs

Before diving in, there is a rather large caveat. Relatively few of these big companies break out the pay of their top marketing execs. Thus, the list is a 34-company subset of the Fortune 500.

Some things stood out. First, Tariq Shaukat, executive vice president and chief commercial officer for Caesars Entertainment (CZR) was fourth highest-paid on the list with $4.95 million in compensation in 2015. His name leapt out because news just broke that he is moving over to Google (GOOG) to head up the search titan’s enterprise software push.

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Second, traditional tech companies placed only two people on the list. One of them was Jeremy Burton, president of products and chief marketing officer for storage giant EMC (EMC). Burton was the highest paid executive with a whopping $8.5 million in compensation last year. Burton was previously CEO of Serena Software and also held top jobs at Veritas, Symantec (SYMC), and Oracle (ORCL) before joining EMC, which is in the midst of merging with Dell in a deal now worth $59 billion.

The other tech marketer here is Shuki Nir, senior vice president of corporate marketing and general manager for retail for flash memory maker SanDisk. He logged in at the 21st spot with $2.1 million in 2015 compensation. Sandisk is now part of Western Digital.

For more on EMC, watch:

Finally, retail was well represented with the top marketers from Target (TGT), Sears Holdings (SHLD), Kroger (KR), Dollar Tree (DLTR), and Kohl’s (KSS) all making the cut. Fernando Acosta, executive vice president and chief marketing and social selling officer of Avon Products (AVP) was number five with nearly $4.69 million in pay last year.