CEO Cash Compensation: What’s Trending

When it comes to base salary, size matters. As company revenues and the number of employees increase, so does base salary.

Median CEO total cash compensation reached $325,000 in 2015, according to Chief Executive’s CEO and Senior Executive Compensation in Private Companies Report ( This included a base salary of $250,000 and bonus of $75,000. While 2016 base salaries were flat, most CEOs expected bonuses to increase in 2016 to a median bonus of $90,000. Here’s how this plays out by company revenue and number of employees. —Steve Rose

2015 CEO Cash Compensation
CEO cash compensation varies widely by company, with the lower end coming in at just $200,000. But average cash compensation for all companies is more than 2.5 times that at a little over $525,000. Median cash compensation totaled $325,000, with a base of $250,000 and a bonus of $75,000, compared to just $20,000 in the 25th percentile and $160,000 in the 75th percentile.

Bonuses: More about revenue growth and profitability than base salary
Bonuses are highly tied to revenue growth and profitability in addition to company size, though there is a significant correlation among all three. This indicates that performance-based bonus incentives are effective at aligning a CEO’s performance with the company’s.



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