J.Thelander Consulting Releases 2018 Private Compensation Survey Report, Results Show Median CEO Pay Ratio of 2:1

Survey provides glimpse into compensation trends for private companies across rank, industry, region and gender

SAN FRANCISCO--()--J.Thelander Consulting, a San Francisco-based private compensation data firm, today released its 2018 Private Compensation Report, which surveyed nearly 1,500 global private companies across industries, financing and valuations. This follows the Securities and Exchange Commission’s approval of the pay-gap rule that went into effect earlier this year, requiring publicly traded companies to reveal the pay gap between their top boss and median employee. The same measures are not required in the private market, however, this report provides a glimpse into compensation structures across rank, industry, region and gender.

According to the report, the median CEO of privately-held companies makes nearly two times more than the median employee, based on total cash compensation, with the median CEO earning $300,000 and the median employee bringing in roughly $156,000. The maximum amount of total cash compensation reported by CEOs was $1,080,000, while the minimum total cash reported for employees was $32,000. In almost all cases, CEOs are paid more as the value of their company increases.

“It is our goal to provide the highest level of transparency on compensation in the private capital markets,” said Jody Thelander, Founder and CEO of J.Thelander Consulting. “It is crucial to arm companies with the most complete information on pay structures across rank and financing within a particular industry. This helps companies remain competitive, so that they can recruit and retain top talent, and also works to level the playing field for women and minorities.”

In chief positions, women are represented the least among Chief Technology Officers (CTO) and Chief Executive Officers (CEO), accounting for just 6 percent and 9 percent of those positions, respectively. Instead, women are more likely to assume the role of Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) or Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). According to the report, roughly one in four survey respondents with the title of CSO or CMO is a woman. In terms of total cash compensation for CEOs, a woman earns 80 cents for every dollar a man earns, and women's total cash compensation is more than $32,000 less than their male counterpart. Pay and gender disparities are the closest for CMOs, where the median total cash compensation for men and women differs by just $500.

Additional key findings include:

  • In terms of total cash compensation, the median CEO earns roughly double the median employee.
    • Minimum total cash reported by a CEO was $80,000, minimum total cash for employees was $32,000
    • Maximum total cash reported by a CEO was $1,080,000, maximum total cash for employees was $631,000
  • Where the pay and gender disparities are close:
    • Chief Medical Officer: Women make more (on average/median) than their male counterparts, in terms of total cash compensation
      • However, men in this position can make up to $800,500 whereas women make up to $499,375 (total cash, maximum)
    • Chief Marketing Officer (Average/Median)
      • Male: $220,834/$225,500 vs Female: $221,500/$225,000
        • This signals a stable marketplace for this job
  • Staff Level Jobs - Which industries provide opportunities to earn more
    • Engineers in AI/Machine Learning make more than Electrical Engineers and Software Engineers in Tech
    • Software engineers in biotech and medical device make more than software engineers in tech and cleantech
  • Valuations - In most cases CEOs get paid more the higher the valuation

Please click here to download a summary of the report. For full details on the study, contact info@jthelander.com.

About J.Thelander Consulting

J.Thelander Consulting is a leading compensation intelligence-gathering firm, providing statistics, analysis, trends and strategic compensation consulting to private companies and investment firms. J.Thelander’s compensation data specializes in biotech, medical devices, technology and cleantech, as well as venture capital, private equity and corporate venture investment firms. The company’s data and reports are available through subscription packages, which includes around-the-clock online access, as well as supplemental data and customizable reports to meet the unique needs of its members. J.Thelander Consulting was founded in 1997 and is based in San Francisco’s Financial District. Visit www.jthelander.com to learn more.


J.Thelander Consulting
Stephanie Cook

Release Summary

The median CEO of privately-held companies makes nearly two times more than the median employee, based on total cash compensation.


J.Thelander Consulting
Stephanie Cook