CFO Salary Guide for 2024 | Top CFO Recruiters

      CFO Salary Guide for 2024

      Top CFO Recruiter Shawn Cole, President of Cowen Partners

      By CFO Recruiter Shawn Cole — Top CFO Recruiter Shawn Cole is a trusted thought leader and premier authority on CFO recruitment across all industries. As President & Co-Founder of Cowen Partners, Shawn Cole is a trailblazing leader in the CFO recruiting space, known for finding exceptional talent while uncovering key insights about today’s C-suite leaders.

      Chief financial officers (CFOs) are vital to devising, steering, and overseeing companies’ financial strategy and stability, as well as their short- and long-term growth trajectories. 

      In 2024, CFOs continue to be key C-suite players who command competitive compensation packages that reflect their experience, skills, and background while being defined by many other factors.

      Crafted by today’s top CFO recruiters at Cowen Partners, this guide is designed to empower C-suite leaders and hiring professionals with the latest CFO salary insights, so they can make more strategic decisions with regard to compensation packages, offers, salary negotiations, and future salary adjustments.

      5 Types of CFO Compensation in 2024

      CFO compensation in 2024 tends to be comprised of several components, including:

      1. Base Salary: As the core of any CFO compensation package, the base salary is usually a fixed annual amount paid to the chief financial officer over 12 months. CFO salary packages may include terms for performance reviews and scheduled salary bumps in some cases.
      2. Bonuses: Often positioned as performance-based incentives, CFO bonuses are generally awarded for meeting or exceeding specific financial objectives and/or operational goals.
      3. Stock Options (Equity): As long-term incentives tied to the company’s performance, stock options can align the interests of CFOs with shareholders.
      4. Benefits: This component of CFO compensation typically includes health insurance, retirement plans, paid vacation time, and other standard employee benefits.
      5. Perquisites (Perks): Additional benefits that can comprise CFO compensation packages can include company cars or vehicle allowances, club memberships, executive health programs, and more.

      Please be aware that not every CFO salary package will include every type of compensation noted above — and that the perks and benefits available outside of CFO salaries and bonuses can be unique and even company-specific in some cases. 

      Average CFO Salary Ranges by Industry in 2024

      CFO salaries vary widely, based on candidate experience, credentials, and background, as well as the industry and the size of the company. The table below features the average CFO salary ranges for different sectors.

      IndustryLow-End or Starting
      CFO Salaries
      Upper End
      CFO Salaries
      Technology CFOs~$400k~$1.2M
      Healthcare CFOs~$350k~$1M
      Financial Services CFOs~$500k~$1.5M
      Manufacturing CFOs~$300k~$900k
      Retail CFOs~$250k~$800k
      Energy CFOs~$350k~$1.1M
      Real Estate CFOs~$300k~$950k

      Keep in mind that the highest-paid CFOs in 2024 earn several millions more than the average ranges listed in the table above. In fact, some of the top-earning CFOs in 2024 are featured in the table below. 

      Top-Earning CFOCFO SalaryCompany
      Joe Berchtold~$52.4MLive Nation Entertainment
      Michael J. Cavanagh~$40.4MComcast Corp.
      John David Rainey~$39.7MWalmart
      Luca Maestri~$27.1MApple
      Amy Hood~$26.3MMicrosoft

      6 Factors Impacting CFO Salaries

      CFO compensation packages can differ widely due to factors like (and not limited to):

      1. Industry: High-growth and high-profit industries, such as technology and financial services, tend to offer more competitive CFO salary and compensation packages.
      2. Company Size and Revenue: Larger companies pulling in higher revenues typically offer higher salaries to attract top talent.
      3. Geographic Location: Salaries can vary significantly based on local cost of living and regional trends.
      4. Candidate Experience and Track Record: CFOs with extensive experience and a history of successfully managing finances in complex environments usually command higher salaries. These candidates can also have a stronger bargaining power and more opportunities for playing offers against each other when it’s time to negotiate CFO salary offers.
      5. Educational Background and Certifications: Advanced degrees and professional certifications can enhance earning potential and result in higher CFO salaries.
      6. Market Demand and Competition: High demand for CFOs, particularly those with specific skill sets, can drive up compensation, as can a limited supply of qualified candidates in niche or highly specialized sectors.

      6 Tips for Assembling Competitive CFO Salary Packages in 2024

      To attract and retain top talent to the role of chief financial officer, it’s crucial for startups, growing companies, and established corporations to offer competitive, comprehensive CFO compensation packages. 

      Although those can be tricky to develop, here are some highly effective tips from top CFO recruiters in 2024, explaining how to tackle this endeavor for better changes of success and outstanding results:

      1. Review Industry Standards: Use industry salary surveys, market reports, and insights from trusted recruiters who are on the CFO hiring front lines day in and day out to evaluate your offer and asses how competitive it may be.
      2. Incorporate Performance Incentives: Design bonus and equity plans that reward both short-term achievements and long-term company performance.
      3. Offer Attractive Benefits: Provide a robust benefits package that includes health insurance, retirement plans, and other perks. Going beyond the basics here and considering alternatives, like work-from-home options, may be fitting in some cases.
      4. Emphasize Professional Growth: Offer opportunities for continuous learning, professional development, and career advancement. While this could include subsidized education or workshops, it could also involve offering to send CFOs to important industry events, conventions, networking opportunities, and more.
      5. Tailor Packages to Fit Individual Needs: Consider the unique needs and preferences of each candidate, such as relocation assistance or sign-on bonuses.
      6. Regularly Review and Make Adjustments (as needed): Stay informed about market trends, shifts in your industry, and how CFO compensation packages evolve from year to year. Adjusting your CFO compensation packages routinely can be pivotal to remaining competitive and attractive to elite talent.

      CFO Compensation in 2024 & Beyond

      The demand for highly skilled CFOs remains strong in 2024, and many top-tier candidates are aware of what they bring to the table. They’re also typically looking to move forward with companies that make them attractive offers while “feeling” right in terms of company culture, values, and the demands of the role at hand. 

      While CFO turnover in some industries and sectors has been high in recent years, a well-structured CFO compensation package can be a game-changer for any organization focused on attracting top talent, motivating them to excel, and retaining them for the long term.

      See How CFO Salary & Compensation Packages Have Evolved

      At Cowen Partners, we have been keeping our finger on the pulse of CFO salaries and compensation packages for years, with our renowned CFO recruiters publishing annual compensation guides for the chief financial officer. Explore some of our previous CFO salary guides to discover how these compensation packages have shifted and progressed in recent years and what those changes mean for forward-thinking companies that are serious about recruiting today’s most exceptional CFO candidates. 

      Top CFO Search Firm | Cowen Partners Executive Search

      Our hands-on CFO executive recruiters have experience working with private, public, pre-IPO, and non-profit organizations. Clients are typically $50 million in revenue to Fortune 1000’s or have assets between $500 million to $15 billion.

      CFO Executive Search Firm
      National CFO Search Firm

      Cowen Partners delivers 3X more qualified candidates than the competition. Through our proven retained executive search process, we find, vet, and deliver the top 1% of candidates for positions across the C-suite. Our process works for all industries, including technologyhealthcaremanufacturingretailreal estatefinancial servicescredit unionsprivate equity, and more.

      Cowen Partners is the nation’s leading CFO search firm, driven to create value for our clients. Read more of our industry-leading retained search resources to see why Cowen Partners is a top CFO search firm, including tax and accounting leadership, in New York City, Chicago, SeattleAnchorage, Atlanta, and Dallas.

      Get in Touch.

      Fill out the email request form to learn more about our approach.

        [honeypot website]