Tech CEOs Taking Pay Cuts to Keep Costs Low

During the recession, these chief executives have opted to take pay cuts in hopes of avoiding other cost cutting measures.

Given the economic uncertainly of modern times, there's been a lot of news out there about companies cutting costs. From massive layoffs to slashed benefits, employees have been taking the majority of the hits from the ongoing recession.

However, while the tech industry hemorrhages jobs left and right, there are a few CEOs that are taking matters into their own hands by taking substantial pay cuts to keep costs low.

In this guide, we'll cover some of the tech CEOs that have taken pay cuts recently in an effort to avoid layoffs and keep their companies competitive during these economically uncertain times.

Eric Yuan, Zoom

CEO pay cut: 98%

We all know how Zoom rose to big tech status during the pandemic, due to the company's easy-to-use video chat platform. However, the company showed that it's about more than just connecting people, but also taking radical steps to keep them employed.

In an email to employees, Eric Yuan announced that he would be taking a 98% pay cut in 2023, which amounts to approximately $10,000 for the year.

“As the CEO and founder of Zoom, I am accountable for these mistakes and the actions we take today – and I want to show accountability not just in words but in my own actions.” – Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom

While many tech CEOs that are spearheading layoffs this year have “taken responsibility” for misjudging the market to start the year, Yuan is one of the few taking true accountability by reducing his pay substantially. The company has still laid off 1,300 employees, but things likely would've been much worse without this effort from Yuan.

Tim Cook, Apple

CEO pay cut: 40%

That's right, the Apple CEO that has been battling employees about the company's return-to-office plans has been at the forefront of avoid layoffs by taking a pay.

The pay cut was announced in an SEC filing, which outlined the specifics about how much Tim Cook would be making in the new year.

“Mr. Cook’s 2023 target total compensation is $49 million, a reduction of over 40% from his 2022 target total compensation.” – SEC filing

Even that massive pay cut hasn't been enough to ward off the threat of more cost cutting measures, though. Apple is reportedly still considering layoffs, with the tech giant insisting that employees in the corporate retail division should reapply for their jobs or start refreshing their resumes.

Pat Gelsinger, Intel

CEO pay cut: 25%

Intel's Pat Gelsinger is another CEO that took a pay cut in 2023 to combat the ongoing recession, but he didn't want to be the only one in on the fun. The Intel CEO instituted pay cuts on a sliding scale for all executive-level and upper management employees.

“The changes are designed to impact our executive population more significantly and will help support the investments and overall workforce.” – Addy Burr, spokesperson for Intel

As for how much was cut, the CEO's pay was docked by 25%, while the executive-level employees dropped by 15% and upper management employees saw a cut of 5% to their paychecks. Intel has also still had some layoffs, letting go of more than 500 employees earlier this year.

Sundar Pichai, Google

CEO pay cut: Undisclosed

Not every CEO is as open and transparent about pay cuts as the others on this list, and Sundar Pichai appears to be one of them.

In an all-hands meeting where Pichai was laying off more than 12,000 employees, he noted that all senior vice presidents and above would be taking a “very significant reduction in their annual bonus.”

Google has attempted some other measures to cut costs during the economic downturn, even asking employees to share desks.

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Written by:
Conor is the Lead Writer for For the last six years, he’s covered everything from tech news and product reviews to digital marketing trends and business tech innovations. He's written guest posts for the likes of Forbes, Chase, WeWork, and many others, covering tech trends, business resources, and everything in between. He's also participated in events for SXSW, Tech in Motion, and General Assembly, to name a few. He also cannot pronounce the word "colloquially" correctly. You can email Conor at
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