Thursday, January 3, 2013


Around this time of year boards have recently, or are about to finalize compensation plans for companies. WilmerHale and Ernst & Young publish an excellent survey:

Executive Compensation: Insights from the 2012 CompStudy Survey of Venture-Backed Companies

The data is an important indicator for what is 'market' for employees of venture backed technology companies. Here's a link to the survey of 4,000 startups, 10,000 founders and 20,000 executives. It takes a look at companies who have raised zero to 5+ rounds of capital, are located in the US and looks at equity % held by founders and title.

Some of the numbers that resonated with me are:

  • Non-founding CEO's have approximately 6% of fully diluted equity holdings (post round 2)
  •  CEO direct reports are in the 1-2% range
  • CEO base salary of $250- $267k (median and mean)

I am confident that every company is different in its philosophy and execution of their compensation plans. I am also confident that having good data and transparency gives people more comfort that fair dealings are taking place.

This study helps give that confidence.

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