Wednesday, April 18, 2012

CTO Salary and Equity Trends 2009-2011

Todd Gitlin of Safire Partners - a go to resource here in LA for recruiting C-level positions at startups - was nice enough to compile some data again this year (see last year's Startup CTO Salary and Equity Data and Equity for Early Employees in Early Stage ). Even better, my good friend and data visualization guru Steve Wexler of Data Revelations was able to create visualizations of the data.

Here's a live version of the data and below it is a bit of analysis of the trends.

I'm showing snapshots below. I would be very curious to get reactions to what people find in the live data.

CTO Salary and Equity Comparison

My guess is that most people who come here are going to be Founders, CEOs and CTOs who want to compare salary and equity of the CTO Position in their organization vs. their peers. Or they are looking at Hiring a CTO and want to see what salary and equity ranges look like.
Well the easiest visualization to use is to go to the Benchmarks Tab.
You then make selections around aspects like Founder Status, Job Title, Headcount, Revenue, Development Stage, Capital Raised, Funding Round, etc. If you get too specific, then the counts will get very small and may not be the best comparison. You can also enter salary and equity data to see where you stand.
As was pointed out in last year's post, generally there's as companies get older, have more funding, revenue, headcount, maturity:
  • Salaries go up
  • Equity percentage goes down

Trend #1 - Sizable Salary Increases

I've been talking for a while about the increasing demand for CTOs the past few years and a similar challenge in finding developers in Los Angeles. What I had not realized is that this had translated into escalating salaries for CTOs and VP Engineering. I was expecting that over the past few years, the pressure on VCs maybe had translated into lower salaries. It has not.

I tried slicing this a few different ways, but in virtually every case the trend is clear. CTO salaries are escalating quickly.

Trend #2 - Early Stage Companies Lower Salary and Higher Equity (for Founder CTOs)

The one exception to Trend #1 seems to be for Startup CTOs at earlier stage companies. If you look at the year-over-year trends from 2009-2011 for companies that have raised less than $10M:

and another chart that is only startups with Seed or Series A according to development stage:

To me this is a very interesting set of trends that I would not have guessed without seeing the data.
Anyone else a little surprised? Or seeing something else that's interesting?

No comments: