Human Capital & Careers

Salary Survey

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Crawford CoatesJune 1, 2001

Total compensation for CFOs at large companies jumped 17 percent on average, to $2.77 million, with base salary increasing by 9 percent, says New York­based Pearl Meyer & Partners. More telling is the sharp rise in stock option awards for CFOs, which increased in value by 25 percent to an imputed average of $1.41 million. “CFOs at major corporations are being compensated like entrepreneurs,” says Steven E. Hall, managing director at Pearl Meyer. “And it’s putting more pay at risk because a larger percentage of compensation is tied to stock performance,” he adds, noting that in 2000, options grants made up more than 50 percent of total CFO compensation. The quick appreciation of pay packages also means that CFOs have risen to “superstar” status regarding recruitment, says Hall. Start-ups think so, too. “Investors are demanding that a good CFO be hired before they put their money down,” says Gary Roberts of search firm Christian & Timbers. “In fact, some companies hire a CFO before the CEO.” –Crawford Coates

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