Who is the highest-paid chief executive in America?

Every spring, not long after the Academy Awards, the business media tear open their own envelopes to announce who has won the pay title for the previous year.

But for all the spotlights focused on the issue of executive pay — with regulators demanding more transparency and investors crying foul about runaway compensation — it is possible for some executives to remain in the shadows.

Like this year’s winner: Barry Diller, chairman and chief executive of IAC/Interactive, the Internet retailing and home-shopping-channel company. Mr. Diller was not on the lists earlier this year because his company filed its proxy after most of the initial surveys, based on samples of a few hundred companies, were done.

Mr. Diller’s salary at IAC/Interactive last year was a relatively modest $726,115. But his package totaled $295 million in 2005, almost all from stock options, making him by far the highest-paid executive among 1,400 companies studied by the Corporate Library, a research firm that studies corporate boards and chief executives.

Get the full story at The New York Times