Research Methodology

Chief Executive Research sent surveys to the readers of Chief Executive magazine as well as select segments of its online database of CEOs in April 2014, asking for company information, compensation data, policies, and procedures for their most recently completed fiscal year as well as expected 2014 cash compensation.

1,250 private companies responded to the survey, with over 700 completing the detailed compensation questions. There were a total of over 3,000 responses for individual compensation packages.

Strong response rates were received from private companies representing a wide range of sizes, industries, geographies, and ownership types.

The survey effort focused on private companies with revenues from less than $2 million to over $1 billion and utilized a stratified sampling of companies to allow companies of each size to benchmark their company against similarly-sized companies.

Number of Surveys Completed by Title

We asked survey respondents to provide compensation data for 10 senior executive positions. For situations where an individual held the title of CEO and another position (e.g. CEO and Chairman), data is included only in the analysis of CEO compensation. Below shows the number of responses included in the final report analysis for each title:

Title Responses
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) 795
Senior Finance Executive (CFO, VP Finance) 506
Senior Operations Executive (COO, GM, VP Operations) 383
Senior Marketing Executive (CMO, VP Marketing) 302
Senior Human Resources Executive (HR Director, VP HR) 264
Chairman 270
Senior Information Technology Executive (CTO, CIO) 211
Senior Sales Executive (CSO, VP Sales) 223
President 171
Senior Research/Engineering Executive 141

Number of Surveys Completed by Company Profile

The report includes breakdowns of compensation for companies across revenue ranges, number of employees, industry, region, revenue growth, and profitability. Below is the percentage of respondents by these various categories.

Number of Responses by Revenue Range
Revenue Range
# of Responses
<$2 million 149
$2 to $4.9 million 62
$5 to $9.9 million 82
$10 to $24.9 million 207
$25 to $49.9 million 206
$50 to $99.9 million 215
$100 to $249.9 million 198
$250 to $499.9 million 98
$500 to $999.9 million 59
$1 billion+ 66

Number of Responses by Number of Employees
Number of Employees
# of Responses
0 to 10 119
10 to 24 98
25 to 49 124
50 to 99 192
100 to 249 284
250 to 499 207
500 to 999 132
1,000 to 4,999 133
5,000 to 9,999 24
10,000+ 32

Number of Responses by Industry
# of Responses
Business Services/Legal58
Health Care/Pharmaceutical/Biotechnology75
Manufacturing - Consumer Goods126
Manufacturing - Industrial Goods379
Real Estate/Property Management19

Number of Responses by Region
# of Responses
New England (ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT) 69
Mid-Atlantic (NY, PA, NJ) 143
East North Central (WI, MI, IL, IN, OH) 294
West North Central (MO, ND, SD, NE, KS, MN, IA) 114
South Atlantic (DE, MD, DC, VA, WV, NC, SC, GA, FL) 188
East South Central (KY, TN, MS, AL) 57
West South Central (OK, TX, AK, LA) 126
Mountain (ID, MN, WY, NV, UT, CO, AZ, NM) 74
Pacific (AK, WA, OR, CA, HI) 180

Number of Responses by Revenue Growth
Revenue Growth
# of Responses
Down 0.1 – 9.9% 438
Down 10 – 19.9% 42
Down >20% 33
Flat 231
Up 0.1 – 9.9% 438
Up 10 – 19.9% 270
Up >20% 189

Number of Responses by Profitability (EBITDA Margin)
Profitability (EBITDA Margin)
# of Responses
0 – 4.9% 287
10 – 19.9% 372
20 – 30% 116
5 – 9.9% 318
>30%      80
Unprofitable 126

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  • "I found the report most useful because of the detailed information by job category. The information on the report makes us aware of what the market is doing to reward Chief and Senior Executives. Our immediate use was to benchmark against our Senior Executive Sales & Marketing position."

    Ligaya Bowman, VP of Human Resources, Datron World Communications, Inc.
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    Douglas Nichols, Chief Operating Officer, Aerion Corporation
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    Anna Nogueiro, Director of Human Resources, Nelson
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