In an article from U.S. News & World Report last week, writer Rick Newman posits that while Americans have grown used to CEOs mismanaging their companies -- and their companies' finances -- some CEOs are worth their wallets in gold.

Drawing from a list of a dozen executives named in a recent report from the Corporate Library, Newman picked five CEOs who he believes deserve every penny of what they're getting.

Who made the list? The most notable member is arguably Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) Steve Jobs, with AutoZone's (NYSE:AZO) William Rhodes also making the cut. You'll also find the leaders of Nucor (NYSE:NUE), Humana (NYSE:HUM), and Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) among the top five.

Now, make no mistake: Each of these CEOs garners millions in wages each year. But Newman, citing The Corporate Library's report, says their performance yields every right for them to do so:

(T)he CEOs at these companies have a record of success that justifies their pay. All 12 companies [in The Corporate Library's report] have demonstrated consistent, long-term profitability that exceeds the average for their industries. And over the past five years, all have outperformed the S&P 500 stock index.

Do you think the likes of Jobs and Rhodes deserve megamillions per year? What's your benchmark for what makes a good, solid CEO? What would you pay them? Chime in with your thoughts in the comments box below.

Hope Nelson-Pope is online coordinating editor at The Motley Fool. She owns shares of Apple, but of none of the other companies mentioned here. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.