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4. Kenneth Chenault, CEO of American Express
Total compensation: $42.8 million

2008 salary: $1.3 million
Bonus: $6.1 million
Perks: $1.2 million
Stock grants: $9.5 million
Stock options: $24.7 million

American Express had a huge growth run in the mid-'90s, but managing through the downturn will be a daunting challenge. Spending by Amex cardholders dropped 10% in the last quarter of 2008, and Amex's earnings took a deep dive. Not long after Lehman Brothers failed, Amex announced plans to slash its workforce by 10% and it converted to a bank holding company, allowing it access to billions in government bailout funds.

NEXT: 5. Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citigroup

Last updated April 06 2009: 1:16 PM ET
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