The 5 highest-paid CEOs of 2018, including $129 million for Discovery's David Zaslav

David Zaslav Sun Valley

Getty / Scott Olson

Discovery CEO David Zaslav

The highest-paid CEO of 2018 made nearly double that of the second-highest-paid CEO.

Discovery CEO David Zaslav earned $129 million in 2018, while Disney CEO Bob Iger earned $65 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. Other top earners of last year include AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and Jefferies Group CEO Richard Handler.
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Zaslav's earnings tripled from 2017 to 2018 due to an increase in stock options after he extended his contract through 2023, according to the Journal. His salary remained at $3 million. Iger extended his contract in 2017 through December 2021.

Iger and Stephenson recently guided their companies into industry-shaking mergers, and media continues to be a lucrative sector for CEOs. AT&T bought Time Warner last year for $85 billion. Disney bought Fox last year for $71 billion, and the deal officially closed last week. Both CEOs are now tasked with overseeing their respective mergers while also launching streaming services (both Disney+ and WarnerMedia's streaming service are expected to debut later this year).

Below are the highest-paid CEOs of 2018:
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5. Randall Stephenson — AT&T

5. Randall Stephenson — AT&T

2018 salary: $29.12 million

4. Stephen MacMillan — Hologic

4. Stephen MacMillan — Hologic

2018 salary: $42.04 million

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3. Richard Handler — Jefferies Group

3. Richard Handler — Jefferies Group

2018 salary: $44.67 million

2. Bob Iger — The Walt Disney Company

2. Bob Iger — The Walt Disney Company

2018 salary: $65.65 million

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1. David Zaslav — Discovery, Inc.

1. David Zaslav — Discovery, Inc.

2018 salary: $129 million