The 10 Highest-Paid CEOs on Record

By Markets Fool.com

We all know that executive pay in America has exploded during the past two decades. The CEOs of major companies once made 30 or 40 times the average employee salary. But now the nation's highest-paid execs makehundreds of times what most nine-to-fivers make. AtCVS Health , for instance, CEO Larry Merlo took home a salary 422 times larger than the average employee last year, according to PayScale.

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But Merlo was far from the highest-earning CEO in 2014. In fact, he didn't even make the top 10. That rarified ground belonged largely to just one industry: media CEOs. Take a look at the list below, how much each CEO makes, and the kind of value each CEO has created during his or her tenure. Sound off in the comments section below as to who deserves this cash and who doesn't.

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Brian Stoffel has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends AMC Networks, CVS Health, Discovery Communications, Lions Gate Entertainment, Walt Disney, and Yahoo. The Motley Fool owns shares of AMC Networks, Discovery Communications, Lions Gate Entertainment, Walt Disney, and Yahoo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.