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Average CFO Salary

While the national average CFO salary according to Payscale is $133,000.00, it is important to know that there are many factors that impact this number.

Average CFO salary is $133,000

Salary VS Total Compensation

One very important factor is salary vs total compensation. Total compensation includes things like bonuses and stock options.

The Wall Street Journal reported in Nov 2019 that the highest paid CFO’s are as follows.

  • Safra Catz, Oracle Corp., $108.3 million.
  • Ruth M. Porat, Alphabet Inc., $47.3 million.
  • Luca Maestri. Apple Inc., $26.5 million.
  • Michael Fleisher, Wayfair Inc., $23.6 million.
  • John P. Nallen, 21st Century Fox Inc., $20.8 million.

Highest paid CFO Safra Catz, Oracle Corp., $108.3 million.

Not all Companies are Equal

Average Private Company Salary

According to, the average cash compensation for a CFO in a private company with less than $20MM in annual revenue is $194,354

CFOs for private companies with $21-$99MM in annual revenue make an average of $237,983 in base salary. (Private company CFOs make 45% less than those at public companies.) Tack on benefits and bonus and you can expect to pay $225,000 to $275,000 depending on business size.

Average Public Company CFO Salary (Private company CFOs make 45% less than those at public companies.)

According to the median base salary for a CFO in the United States is $362,030, and the median total compensation package (including bonus, healthcare, and retirement) is $506,386.

Average public company CFO salary is $362,030

Location, Location, Location

The salary range varies widely depending on location. For instance, a CFO in Keya Paha, Nebraska, near the South Dakota border, will expect the lowest salary in the country at $284,250 and a compensation package totaling $354,259. An average CFO in San Francisco, however, will ask for nearly double that salary at $451,070 and total compensation of $724,006.

As a frame of reference, that median base CFO salary in the US of $362,030 would be $174/hour.

How Long Will it Take to Find a CFO?

A 2015 survey by Jobvite indicates that while average jobs are filled in 43 days, it takes an average of 71 days to fill a C-level position and 76 days for a position with “director” or “vice president” in the title.

Many companies take their time with the recruiting process and opt for an interim CFO service so that they are not rushed into a bad decision.

Cowen Partners average time to candidate is 38 days

Cowen Partners has a strong record of identifying and recruiting Chief Financial Officers for public, private and non-profit organizations. Contact us if you would like to discuss recruiting an exceptional CFO for your organization.