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Coinbase Paid CEO Armstrong $60M in 2020 – Including $1.8M for 'Personal Security'

The 38-year-old tech CEO received nearly $60 million in total compensation last year.

Feb 25, 2021 at 3:34 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:17 p.m. UTC

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong received $1.78 million to cover "personal security" expenses in FY2020 as the 38-year-old tech CEO prepared to take the cryptocurrency exchange operator public.

  • Armstrong, who founded Coinbase in 2012, netted nearly $60 million in salary, stock options and "all other compensation" in FY2020, according to the crypto firm's newly-filed S-1, making him Coinbase's highest-paid executive.
  • While the lion's share of that sum – $56.6 million – came via option awards and an additional $1 million for his base salary, Armstrong also received $1.78 million to cover "costs related to personal security measures."
  • "We view personal security expenses for Mr. Armstrong as reasonable business expenses due to a bona fide business-oriented security concern and not the receipt of taxable personal benefits," the S-1 read. Armstrong appears to be the only Coinbase employee with such an arrangement.
  • Armstrong's compensation package for 2020 puts him ahead of JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon ($31.5 million) and Apple CEO Tim Cook ($14.7 million) on the list of highly paid executives.
  • Joining Armstrong on Coinbase's list of highest-paid employees are Chief Product Officer Surojit Chatterjee ($15.8 million in 2020 compensation) and Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal ($18 million in 2020). Chatterjee's and Grewal's packages also leaned heavily on stock and option awards.

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