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Angela Ahrendts, Apple's senior vice president of retail and online stores image www.goodgirlsgo.com

Angela Ahrendts’s pay included a sign-on bonus and a make-whole grant for awards left behind at Burberry. Photo: Bloomberg

Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of retail and online stores, was the highest-paid female executive in the US last year.

The former chief executive officer of London-based fashion retailer Burberry Group was awarded $US82.6 million ($103.99 million) last year, says data compiled by Bloomberg. Ahrendts, 54, joined the world’s most-valuable company in May last year and became the first woman on its management team.

Ahrendts’s pay included a sign-on bonus and a make-whole grant for awards left behind at Burberry. The pay package is now valued at $US105.5 million. Josh Rosenstock, a spokesman for Apple, would not comment on her compensation.

Marissa Mayer of Yahoo was the country’s highest-paid female CEO. The 39-year-old was awarded $US59.1 million last year, making her No. 3 among the eight women on the Bloomberg Pay Index, a daily ranking of the top-paid US executives. Her compensation, more than 95 per cent of which is comprised of stock and options, has fallen in value to $US45 million, says data compiled by Bloomberg.

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Yahoo announced in January that it planned to spin off its remaining investment in Alibaba Group, which had bolstered the Sunnyvale, California-based company’s stock last year. Mayer is under pressure to create shareholder value without it.

“There’s a limited number of people who are viewed as having those skill sets, and you have to pay for it,” said David Doyle, an executive compensation lawyer at Day Pitney LLP.

Yahoo spokeswoman Rebecca Neufeld declined to comment.

Oracle’s Safra Catz was No. 2 on the ranking after being awarded $US71.2 million in fiscal 2014 for her role as chief financial officer. Catz was named co-CEO after the Redwood City, California-based company’s fiscal 2014 year ended. In connection to her promotion, she received 500,000 options and 125,000 performance stock units, according to a September filing.

Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger declined to comment.

Only 0.3 per cent of Apple’s profit

The Bloomberg pay ranking also calculates pay-for-performance using an executive’s compensation as a percentage of a company’s economic profit, defined as after-tax net operating profit minus its cost of capital.

By that measure, Apple’s Ahrendts delivered the best rating among all women on the ranking. Her pay is equal to 0.3 per cent of the Cupertino, California-based company’s $US28.6 billion three-year average economic profit.

Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson delivered the third-best dollar-for-dollar performance among the women on the index. The defense contractor’s quarterly revenue has slumped 16 per cent since she took over the Bethesda, Maryland-based company in January 2013, and earnings have risen more than 54 per cent.

Larisa Cioaca, a spokeswoman for Lockheed, declined to comment.

Hewson’s 2014 pay, valued at $US36.7 million at year end, is 2.9 per cent of Lockheed’s three-year average economic profit of $US1.28 billion.

Howard Rubel, a New York-based analyst with Jefferies LLC, said: “She’s well-respected by her customers, and frankly that goes a long way when you have programs that periodically face challenges.”

Other female executives on the ranking include Mylan NV CEO Heather Bresch, who was awarded $US40 million, and Martine Rothblatt, co-CEO and chairman of United Therapeutics, with $US33.3 million in awarded pay.

Executives including Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter General Counsel Vijaya Gadde have previously been on the ranking. The current value of their awarded pay – $US17.6 million and $US5.8 million, respectively – has dropped them from the index.

Bloomberg

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Henry Sapiecha

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