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Tech Executive Pay Raises Way Down, New Study Says

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30.4 percent of the equity in their firms, up from 21.6 percent in 2008. Non-founding IT chief executives owned an average of 5.9 percent of the equity at their firms this year, compared with 5.1 percent of equity last year.

The increase in equity for CEOs of life sciences firms was less dramatic. Founding chief executives saw their average ownership share increase from 17.2 percent in 2008 to 19 percent this year, according to the study. Non-founding CEOs increased their stakes in companies from 5.6 percent in 2008 to 5.8 percent. However, non-founder leadership teams in life sciences saw their collective equity stakes decrease this year to 17.1 percent from 18.2 percent in 2008.

The number of companies that completed surveys for the study—which also compares executive pay in China, the UK, India, and Israel—grew from about 450 last year to more than 700 this year, Lapat told me. The VCs that have helped convince their portfolio company executives to participate in the report get special access to the data, including a look at how pay at firms in which they invest compares to others in their field in aggregate, he noted. (Also, it’s probably worth noting for the VCs that have access to the study is that the findings can be sliced and diced many different ways by users on the study website.)

Clean technology firms—even those focused on science-based businesses such as cellulosic ethanol development—were counted as part of the tallies for tech firms. Lapat said that there were not enough cleantech companies in the study to break them out as a separate category.

Here are some charts that compare average CEO base salaries according to industry sector and region:

—Non-founder tech CEOs

2009: $231,000

2008: $230,000

—Non-founder life sciences CEOs

2009: $285,000

2008: $273,000

—2009 CEO pay by sector (combines non-founders and founders):


IT Services/Consulting: $219,500

Cleantech: … Next Page »

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