Perhaps the issue here is that the definition of "marketing" is very different across industries. Speaking for EDA Product and Technical Marketing, and likely for many hardware companies, marketing people usually have advanced engineering degrees, are former engineers that built these products, are responsible for defining in details very technical products and product direction, driving the business, as well as providing support infrastructure for customers and sales.
Well, it's easier to pay a large salary if the product unit cost is in the tens of thousands of dollars, like the high-end EDA packages like to be. Having said that, the companies on the Forbes list are very diverse and can't be easily classified and explained why marketing is so important to them: they have cheap (Coke) vs. expensive (Synopsys) product, which may be high tech (EDA, FPGA) or low tech (Coke); the companies may be consumer- (Juniper, Coke) vs OEM-oriented (FPGAs, EDAs, Marvell). Maybe it's just the background or persuasion of the CEO.
I think that the reason people in some of the other companies in marketing positions like at Apple aren't paid the most is because the ones that actually market the most don't have marketing titles i.e. Steve Jobs is probably the best marketer at Apple. He doesn't send a VP of marketing to plug new products, he does it himself, even if he is on medical leave. That is why he makes the big bucks and why Apple isn't listed for it's marketing personnel.
Perhaps, this is unique requirement. Person for this postion needs to be ex hard core design and application engineer with lots of achievements to his name. He has to interact with other design engineers to help solve them their problems. It also need flair of marketing. For products like Sony and Apple, you do need and you do not find this highly technical people in markting.
According to forbes, top 7 of 10 best paid marketing jobs are in chip/EDA companies?? ((8, if include oracle)
Any idea why?
I would assume the marketing job in a chip/EDA company less demanding than in companies like say Microsoft/ Apple/ Samsung/ Sony. IMO these $$ should be paid as bonuses to EEs than Marketing people in these companies.