CFOs earn 40% less than average CEO salary

The disparity between CEO and chief financial officers’ salaries continues to widen, as middle-market CFOs earn an average of $927,743, approximately 40 percent of CEO pay (at $2,338,874), an analysis of 600 public companies by BDO USA LLP revealed.

Despite the difference, both groups saw significant pay increases. CFO pay is now up 19 percent while CEO pay is at a 25 percent growth.

“CEOs have always earned significantly more than other executives, but we have seen an even greater divide in recent years due to an increase in CEO pay leverage tied to the performance of their company’s equity,” says Randy Ramirez, a senior director in the compensation and benefits practice at BDO. “We expect CFO pay to start catching up within the next few years as the emphasis on pay-for-performance trickles down to other top executives.”

Industry also dictates pay, as real estate CEOs and CFOs both earning the highest salary of any business segment at $3,362,145 and $1,295,864, which is approximately three times the average pay of the lowest-compensated CEOs and CFOs in the banking industry at $1,037,685 and $442,425. Executives in technology and energy industries make up the other top earners, with retail executives falling to the  low end of the salary scale.

CEO and CFO Compensation by Industry:

 

 

 

2010 CEO Pay

 

 

2010 CFO Pay

 

 

CFO as % of CEO Pay

Real Estate

 

 

$3,362,145

 

 

$1,295,864

 

 

38.5%

Technology

 

 

$3,071,777

 

 

$1,164,021

 

 

37.9%

Energy

 

 

$2,907,491

 

 

$1,104,603

 

 

37.9%

Financial Services-Nonbanking

 

 

$2,166,123

 

 

$741,711

 

 

34.2%

Manufacturing

 

 

$2,047,168

 

 

$856,560

 

 

41.8%

Health Care

 

 

$2,028,241

 

 

$944,861

 

 

46.6%

Retail

 

 

$1,876,251

 

 

$673,980

 

 

35.9%

Financial Services-Banking

 

 

$1,037,685

 

 

$442,425

 

 

42.6%

Average

 

 

$2,338,874

 

 

$927,743

 

 

39.6%

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