Skift Take

Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta led the pack among hotel executives with a total compensation of $56.8 million in 2023, followed closely by Hyatt's Mark Hoplamazian at $56.4 million and Marriott's Anthony Capuano at $55.5 million.

Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta was awarded $56.8 million in pay last year, more than CEOs at rival hotel operators Marriott, Hyatt, Wyndham, Choice, IHG, and Accor, according to recent SEC filings.

Most of the seven CEOs received bigger pay packages in 2023 than they did in 2022 — boosted by hefty stock-market gains.

A case in point: Hilton’s stock price rose 42% last year, and Nassetta received $16.3 million in stock awards tied to that performance. The CEO’s base salary was only $1.3 million.

The year before, during a weak stock market, Nassetta was awarded around $8.3 million in total compensation.

Hotel Group CEO Compensation in 2023

Here’s a look at the take-home pay of the executives steering the largest hotel groups in 2023. For U.S.-based hotel companies, Skift uses the “compensation actually paid” figure that companies reported to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission because that calculation captures how much executives’ equity awards changed in value as paper gains and losses.

RankCEOHotel GroupCompensation Actually Paid2023 Pay (All in)
1Christopher NassettaHilton$56.8 million$26.5 million
2Mark HoplamazianHyatt$56.4 million$20.7 million
3Anthony CapuanoMarriott$55.5 million$22.6 million
4Geoffrey BallottiWyndham$16 million$10.6 million
5Patrick PaciousChoice$6.2 million$6.3 million
6Sébastian BazinAccor$6 million€5.35 million
7Elie MaaloufIHG$4.9 million£3.85 million

The “compensation actually paid” number differs from the traditional “all-in number.” Confusingly, the “all-in” figure is sometimes less than the “actually paid” figure. The reason is that the reporting is out of sync. The new calculation tries to get closer to when the shares actually vest, while the traditional measure reports when the grants are awarded. So the reporting of essentially the same award amounts happens in different years. The pattern is more obvious if you look at a few years’ worth of data.

Hilton: Christopher Nassetta

Hilton’s Nassetta made $56.8 million in 2023. That figure excludes components that he didn’t actually take home, such as share grants that haven’t yet vested.

Nassetta’s pay has varied over time, not unlike the fortunes of the company’s stock price. In 2021, his compensation was about $78.6 million, but in 2020 it was $19.7 million.

Hyatt: Mark Hoplamazian

Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian earned nearly $56.4 million in 2023, making him the second-best-compensated chief of a global hotel group. Most of his compensation was due to performance-based awards, as Hoplamazian only had a base salary of $1.3 million last year.

Hoplamazian collected around $16.6 million in total compensation the year before, and in 2021 he earned $36 million.

Marriott: Anthony Capuano

Marriott president and CEO Anthony Capuano tripled his compensation year-over-year to around $55.5 million in 2023.

Most of Capuano’s compensation came from stock awards. During the year, the company’s share price rose 53% to $152. Capuano received around $3.7 million in a cash incentive award essentially based on the growth in the company’s share price and specifically tied to targets such as for adjusted EBITDA. He received about $10.9 million in stock awards.

His base salary rose about 7% to $1.4 million.

Wyndham CEO: Geoffrey Ballotti

Wyndham president and CEO Geoffrey Ballotti made around $16 million in 2023.

Ballotti’s pay has risen and fallen with Wyndham’s fortunes thanks to performance-based targets focused on adjusted EBITDA and net room growth.

In 2022, he earned only around $1.6 million, compared to $33.5 million the year before. In 2020, he collected around $10.7 million.

Ballotti’s base salary rose 8% to around $1.1 million.

Choice Hotels: Patrick Pacious

Choice Hotels president and CEO Patrick Pacious received $6.2 million in compensation in 2023.

The figure represented an off year for the hotel chief. Last year, he took home around $27 million, and the previous year he earned $24 million.

He had a base salary of $1.15 million, and most of the rest of his pay was incentive- and performance-based.

As a backdrop, Choice Hotels’ stock underperformed expectations over the year. Investors failed to reward the company for surpassing its seven-year adjusted EBITDA target four years earlier than planned, thanks to the faster-than-expected absorption of Radisson Americas, a company it acquired in 2022.

An ill-fated attempted merger with Wyndham buffeted the company’s stock, impacting the value of Pacious’s equity awards.

Accor CEO: Sébastian Bazin

As a general rule, European-based companies are less generous with CEO pay than U.S.-based ones, and Accor, the Paris-based hotel giant, is no exception.

Accor Group CEO and chairman Sébastian Bazin took home approximately $1 million (€950,000) in base salary in 2023.

Bazin also collected more than $2 million (more than €1.8 million) in variable compensation, mostly to incentivize performance. Half of his performance targets were financial, and others were more strategic, such as successfully meeting goals for talent development and helping to reduce the company’s carbon emissions.

Bazin also was awarded roughly $3 million (about €2.6 million) in performance-based share grants.

IHG CEO: Elie Maalouf

The CEO of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) Elie Maalouf only took the top job in July 2023.

Maalouf received around $4.9 million (£3.85 million) in compensation in 2023. That was shy of the total potential IHG would have given the CEO if all performance benchmarks had been 100% met, which would have been around $6.4 million (around £5 million).

Outgoing CEO Keith Barr received around $4.4 million (around £3.5 million) for his final half-year in the top job. That was somewhat shy of the roughly $6.6 million (approximately £5.2 million) he might have received had all targets been fully met or surpassed.

Accommodations Sector Stock Index Performance Year-to-Date

What am I looking at? The performance of hotels and short-term rental sector stocks within the ST200. The index includes companies publicly traded across global markets, including international and regional hotel brands, hotel REITs, hotel management companies, alternative accommodations, and timeshares.

The Skift Travel 200 (ST200) combines the financial performance of nearly 200 travel companies worth more than a trillion dollars into a single number. See more hotels and short-term rental financial sector performance.

Read the full methodology behind the Skift Travel 200.

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Tags: accor, ceo pay, ceos, choice hotels, choice hotels international, future of lodging, hilton, hyatt, Hyatt Hotels, ihg, intercontinental hotels group, marriott, Marriott International, wyndham, wyndham hotel group

Photo credit: Christopher Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton Worldwide, spoke on-stage in New York City in September 2023 at Skift Global Forum. Source: Skift.

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