Walgreens Boots of Alliance CEO Rosalind “Roz” Brewer was named the highest-paid chief executive in 2021, according to a recent Equilar study.
The California-based company provides “corporate leadership data and solutions for business development” while taking an in-depth look at CEO compensation with some of the largest companies in the nation. Brewer was the 14th highest-paid on the list, with a total amounting to $28.3 million in compensation — $20.2 million in stock awards.
Equilar’s study reviewed 100 successful companies by their revenue after filing 2021 proxy statements by March 31. While not all companies have submitted their reports, the data finds women making financial gains in top positions.
However, there were only nine female CEOs added to the list. But there were no women among the top 10 reported in the study.
“It is discouraging to see how underrepresented women are at the top and how overrepresented they continue to be at the bottom of the income scale,” said Sarah Anderson, an executive compensation expert at the progressive think tank Institute for Policy Studies.
The top-ranking chief executives on the list were held by men, including Intel CEO Patrick Gelsinger, with a $177.9 million salary and $170 million in stocks and options. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, was second-highest-paid with $98.7 million in compensation and $82.3 million in Apple stocks.
Brewer held multiple chief executive roles before landing her current position with Walgreens. She recently served as Chief Operating Officer and Group President at Starbucks from October 2017 to January 2021, the Walgreens Boots Alliance website stated. Brewer also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Sam’s Club from February 2012 to February 2017. Her career in executive leadership began with Walmart in 2006.
The 60-year-old boss recalled working several lower-level positions before transitioning into leadership roles.
“I was willing to take a step down to go much further, and then that’s when my career began to really explode. I was in a learning mode, but I took a step back to get ahead.”
Last year, Brewer sat down with Today’s Hoda Kotb and recalled one of the attendees at a private CEO party not believing her after revealing her job title.
“I’m not the person that will walk in a room and tell you my title, right? I’m just not that person,” she explained. “But when I’m in the room with like-minded people, I would assume that you would think I should be here at least at this point in my life…I refer often to a situation where I was at a meeting just for CEOs, right, private attendance, under 25 people, and I had one gentleman asked me constantly what did I do for a living, almost like ‘why are you here?'”
She continued, “In many times, you know, I just find that we are still so underrepresented in so many different places.”
Watch the full interview below.