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How Much Do Tech Bosses Really Earn? (dice.com) 59

Nerval's Lobster writes: Everybody knows that tech's top figures, such as Google CEO Larry Page or Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, are worth billions of dollars thanks to stock options. But how much do everyday tech executives -- the CIOs, Chief Data Officers, and so on -- earn? Generally between $150,000 and $175,000 per year, not [including] possible perks such as stock options, according to a new analysis. That's based on national data, although anyone who works in tech knows that in high-demand areas such as Silicon Valley, salaries can skyrocket far higher for those with highly specialized skill sets and the right mix of experience. It's a good time to be a Pointy-Haired Boss, but then again, when isn't it?
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How Much Do Tech Bosses Really Earn?

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    A fucking dice link?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Sadly, yes

      And the data is BS as well. These numbers are way too low in terms of the "top out". In a large corporation the CIO will be earning a multi-million package and there will often be 10's or 100''s of people in the USD1M+ group. The comment about Equity is also irrelevant as only total compensation is the only number that matters - who cares how much is base and how much is variable (bonus)?

      Top flight developers get paid way more than these median number this in many locales...particularly silicon va

      • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2016 @07:43PM (#51704643) Journal

        And the data is BS as well. These numbers are way too low in terms of the "top out". In a large corporation the CIO will be earning a multi-million package and there will often be 10's or 100''s of people in the USD1M+ group. The comment about Equity is also irrelevant as only total compensation is the only number that matters - who cares how much is base and how much is variable (bonus)?

        You might be surprised. Yes, I'm sure that far more than $200k is the norm, but publicly traded companies disclose pay - including exercised equity - for senior officers. I did a broad survey of larger companies (but not top 50) a few year back, and what I found was that CEO and CFO typically made about $1M, as did COO (most companies don't have that separate from CEO). Other officers typically made a lot less, in the $300-$500k range. Of course they could be accumulating equity that they're not selling (or option not exercised).

        Top executive pay is very mush like the pay of top Hollywood actors, professional athletes, university presidents, and college football coaches. They all have the same "competitive bidding for talent" (real or imagined talent) pushing up comp. It seems odd to me to obsess only on CEO pay when it's about the same as all these other guys.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Isn't it interesting that when pay is disclosed it tends to go up a lot. C level execs can point to what other companies pay when negotiating. Everyone lower down is strongly encouraged or even mandated to keep their pay secret.

  • seriously (Score:5, Insightful)

    by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2016 @07:08PM (#51704369)

    comparing a tech boss of a company with 10 people in it to oracle or google, or microsoft is just ridiculous

    Small companies pay their bosses less oh wow, breaking news.

    The company i work for has 20 people and the boss makes $200k a year. Does that mean i can compare his salary to a fortune 500 company? not even close. if my company goes under my boss loses his shirt. he is personally tied into the company. if a fortune 1000 company goes under the CEO gets paid millions.

    • Re:seriously (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2016 @02:33AM (#51706033)

      comparing a tech boss of a company with 10 people in it to oracle or google, or microsoft is just ridiculous

      Sadly that's what some people have done and got away with being paid a fortune to run a small business and then fly off to crap on something else after the funds inevitably run dry.

      Before flying off to fuck up Australian telecommunications Sol Trujillo was in such a tiny startup being paid as if he was running Pepsi instead of a tiny government funded group selling stuff to the intelligence community.

  • by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2016 @07:09PM (#51704377)

    >"But how much do everyday tech executives -- the CIOs, Chief Data Officers, and so on -- earn? Generally between $150,000 and $175,000 per year"

    That really doesn't sound like a lot for those types of positions in big companies.... but those positions typically have LOTS AND LOTS of perks that often easily outstrip the salary. Several fully-paid insurances, paid vehicles, paid phones & other tech, large 401K and other funds, stock options (which can be worth a fortune), delayed balloons, education reimbursements, huge expense accounts, travel allotments, BONUSES, extra vacation, etc.

    • That really doesn't sound like a lot for those types of positions in big companies.... but those positions typically have LOTS AND LOTS of perks that often easily outstrip the salary.

      Exactly. Where it says, "not [including] possible perks such as stock options" that translates the whole thing to: "One of the smaller lines on their paycheck is only $150k." That isn't news, even if you really care about the subject.

    • by crunchygranola ( 1954152 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2016 @07:47PM (#51704659)

      You are leaving out the most prominent bit of "non-salary" compensation: bonuses.

      Bonuses aren't salary, but a top level exec will always, always get them because if he does not qualify, he wouldn't be kept in the position anyway. What is a typical bonus for a top exec? 100% is usual. So, in fact even without factoring in options (which can easily outstrip all other forms of compensation), or severance packages, their real take-home pay is double what is quoted.

      In publicly traded companies this stuff is in the annual SEC filings so you can look it up yourself, its all on-line these days. The last company I worked for HR gave me static about getting a salary increase commensurate with my experience, position and contribution claiming that what I wanted was 90% of what the CIO made. Can't have that! But I pointed out to him that the SEC filings showed that the CIO got a 100% bonus each year, so really what I was asking for was only 45%. We settled for 42.5%.

      • by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2016 @02:20AM (#51706013)

        >"You are leaving out the most prominent bit of "non-salary" compensation: bonuses."

        Actually, not only did I not leave it out, I uppercased it.

      • A friend of mine worked as a trader assistant at Société Générale before the shit hit the fan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Soci%C3%A9t%C3%A9_G%C3%A9n%C3%A9rale_trading_loss).
        Ten years ago, I was considering buying a small flat, and I asked him about the big nice flat he bought in Paris a few months before. I knew he had a much better salary than mine, but I just wanted to know which mortgage rate he got, and how long it would take him to pay the mortgage.
        He was kinda evasive. It t

      • Can't have that! But I pointed out to him that the SEC filings showed that the CIO got a 100% bonus each year, so really what I was asking for was only 45%. We settled for 42.5%.

        Nicely done.

  • These sort of comparisons are pointless when just looking at base salary. Equity awards and bonuses can easily exceed base for these types of positions. I mean, senior developers easily make $150k-$175k in total comp, even in inexpensive cities.

    • Exactly. A top exec will be pulling in a 100% bonus typically. And then there are options, guaranteed severance packages, etc. Do you have an employment contract guaranteeing term of employment and compensation including severance? Those guys do. Base salary is a con job. Tell use total compensation of don't waste our time.

  • by MerlynEmrys67 ( 583469 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2016 @07:36PM (#51704579)
    In both the examples given (Page & Zuch) they did not get their wealth and billions from stock options, but from a direct ownership stake in the company. They Owned and retained a huge percentage of the companies that they founded and therefor get the value of the company that they retained. While they may get ongoing stock option packages, this is not the majority of their holdings.
    Bad summary, bad article, etc. etc. etc.
  • Experienced developers get that much plus equity anywhere in the bay area except a startup (where you'll get more equity and less salary). Managers will start at salaries like that and go higher. That's not counting specialty skills. THe last time I worked for a big corp in SV I was making more than that as a senior dev.

  • In large companies ($1B+), you can expect that a Director's salary averages between $150-200K/yr. Officers will be between $200-300K/yr. But the real money is in the performance-based incentives. Directors generally get a 30% bonus and officers are 50% or more. Long-term incentives like restricted stock units (for public companies) are also straight up cash unless the stock is declining in value over the vesting period. All in all, total comp starts around $300K/yr and can hit $1M for companies whose s
  • that's not a lot (Score:2, Interesting)

    by superwiz ( 655733 )
    actually, that's very little. if any PM-level manager is making less than $150k, they should be looking for a new job. The only realistic way to measure a salary is in the multiples of minimal wage (because that's what really determines price levels of everything else in this service economy). If you are making only 15x what the people who are flipping burgers are making and you don't have all the top-level perks that come with being a public servant (pension, best medical insurance in the state, etc.),
    • The only realistic way to measure a salary is in the multiples of minimal wage (because that's what really determines price levels of everything else in this service economy)

      That's wrong, people get paid in exchange for the value the provide (or are perceived to provide). Programmers need to provide $X worth of value for the company, or they aren't worth keeping around. Same with managers.

      Incidentally I keep seeing articles about "how little CEOs make" based on dubious statistics. It seems like someone is trying to counter the propaganda that we had earlier about how CEOs were making $300 million a year or other outrageous amounts (also based on dubious statistics).

    • If you are making only 15x what the people who are flipping burgers are making

      If you are making 15x the minimum wage you are doing really well. The idea that if you're not earning millions then you're barely scratching a living would be funny if it wasn't so offensive.

      And in the 1950s, even the top bosses only made something like 10 - 20x the average workers' salary. The idea that a CEO is worth hundreds of times the average salary is a relatively recent and ridiculous one.

      • The idea that a CEO is worth hundreds of times the average salary is a relatively recent and ridiculous one.

        It's as recent as the ability to take a company from nothing to a billion dollar company within a period of 5 years. If a company explodes in value like that, that value will be in someone's hands. It won't be workers who agreed to exchange their time for fixed wages.

  • ...Valley area and are a C-level executive on the tech side and make less than 250K? You're an idiot.

    • by sabri ( 584428 )

      ...Valley area and are a C-level executive on the tech side and make less than 250K? You're an idiot.

      https://open.buffer.com/transp... [buffer.com]

      Joel CEO 2010-08-01 New York, NY, USA $218,000

      And I would argue that NY might be more expensive than SV.

  • By stealing idea from others. (at least, as far as I can trust "Social Network" movie)
    He founded the company, mentioning stock options in this context is stupid.

  • Money Money

    http://zotzbro.blogspot.com/20... [blogspot.com]

    Who makes what?

  • The figures in the summary aren't even close to reality for anyone in a large company, or someone who's not living out in farm country. I see compensation data for over 400 folks in my organization, and have several in that pay range who aren't anywhere near the corner offices the article is referring to.

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