9 gigantic bonuses that make yours look like chump change

Seven-figure cash bonuses sweeten tech CEOs' pay packages

Big bonuses are back. Nine tech CEOs received cash bonuses of $3 million or more in 2010, and another 13 netted at least $1 million in bonus money, according to our analysis of tech execs' pay packages.

CEO PAYDAY: What tech's top execs raked in for 2010

Across all industries, CEO compensation had tapered off the last couple of years but came climbing back in 2010. In particular, cash bonuses grew significantly, according to The Wall Street Journal/Hay Group 2010 CEO Compensation Study.

The study, which looks at compensation for CEOs at 350 of the largest U.S. companies, found that base salaries remained flat at $1.1 million - but annual incentive-based bonuses increased by 19.7% to $2.2 million. The sharp gains in bonus amounts led to a 12.8% increase in overall cash compensation.

Among 38 pay packages that Network World examined, IBM CEO Sam Palmisano pocketed the largest cash bonus -- $9 million -- in a year that saw IBM achieve record profit and surpass its earnings-per-share goals. Here are the details on the nine biggest cash bonuses in our tech-focused tallies, plus a list of 13 other tech execs whose bonuses exceeded $1 million.

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