Study: What the C-Suite Earns (A Look at Executive Pay in Tech)

Tech is the new finance. All over the world, people are increasingly forgoing banking for jobs with tech companies, driven by a desire for more meaningful work and employers that value innovation and flexibility.

And, like finance, jobs in tech are commanding above-average salaries. Nowhere is that more apparent than at the top.

In the analysis below, Comparably explored C-Suite and VP compensation from several different angles. The results come from an analysis of nearly 7,000 anonymous salary records for employees at small, mid-size and large public and private U.S. tech companies. The data was collected between March 2016 and June 2018.

Total compensation (base salary + bonus)

— VPs of Sales earn the biggest bonus and are most likely to get a bonus every year.
— Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs), on average, have the second biggest base and bonus salaries (base and bonus in six figures).
— Chief Product Officers (CPOs), on average, have the biggest base salary.
— VPs of Sales, CMOs, and CROs typically earn the most overall since their jobs are most tied to revenue and growth for companies.
— Technology Officers (CTOs), on average, have the lowest base salary and are least likely to get a bonus every year.
— Data does not take into account equity or stock options which is why certain titles like CEO appear to have less of a base salary and bonus than other executives.


Total compensation by gender

— The data shows that women in C-level and VP positions are paid less than men in every position.

— The biggest pay gaps are among CIOs, CMOs, CROs, and VPs of Public Relations.

— The smallest pay gaps are among CTOs, General Counsels, VPs of Human Resources and VPs of Sales.

Total compensation by company size

— Top executives earn better compensation packages at large companies across the board.

— The best salary among small companies (11-500 employees) is for VP of Sales followed by Chief Revenue Officer.

Total compensation by ethnicity

— On average, Asian/Pacific Islanders and Caucasians receive the highest pay.

— African Americans are paid the worst across the board.

— Hispanic/Latino execs are some of the highest-paid CIOs and COOs.

Total compensation by location

— San Francisco execs are paid better than most in nearly every category.

— Compensation in Seattle is also above-average, particularly for Chief Creative Officers, CIOs, COOs, and CTOs.

— The lowest-paid execs overall were in Austin, Texas.

Total compensation by funding
— Looking at private companies, it’s clear that the companies with the most in money raised ($30 million or more) have the highest salaries, followed next by those with $10 million to $30 million in funding. Those with $3 million to $10 million doled out the lowest salaries of the group.


— The results were compiled from 6,794 Comparably users in C-Suite or VP level roles. People of all ages, educational backgrounds, ethnicities and experience levels were included.

— All salaries listed reflect “average total compensation” (base salary plus bonus) unless otherwise noted.

— Employees hail from small, mid-size, and large tech companies (VC-funded, privately-held, and public) to household brands like Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, Uber, etc.

— Data was collected between March 2016 and June 2018.

About Comparably

Comparably is one of the fastest growing compensation, culture, and career monitoring sites in the U.S. With the most comprehensive and uniquely structured data — segmented by gender, ethnicity, age, location, tenure, company size, equity, title/department, and education — the platform gives employees a more accurate picture of their worth and allows them to anonymously rate their workplace experiences and match with their dream jobs. Since its launch in 2016, Comparably has accumulated more than 3 million ratings from employees across 30,000 U.S. businesses and over 5,000 companies who use its employer branding and jobs tools. For more information on Comparably, go to For highly-cited workplace culture and compensation studies, including Comparably’s annual Best Places to Work and Best CEOs lists, log onto

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