With the help of Salary.com, Cowen Partners breaks down the average annual salaries and compensation for top C-suite positions.
CEO Median Annual Salary: $754,713
CEOs are responsible for the short- and long-term profitability and growth of their company. They organize leadership and staff to meet strategic goals, ensure appropriate governance and controls, define the corporate vision and strategy, and identify and deliver value to stakeholders. This job may require an advanced degree or its equivalent and typically requires 15+ years of related experience.
COO Median Annual Salary: $457,468
COOs are responsible for the development of functional or business unit strategies for the entire organization. This role plans and directs all aspects of an organization’s operational policies, objectives, and initiatives. COOs also develop strategies to attain short- and long-term financial and operational goals.
CFO Median Annual Salary: $363,559
Like the name suggests, CFOs are typically responsible for developing an organization’s overall financial policies – providing strategic direction of all financial functions including accounting, budget, credit, insurance, tax, and treasury. CFOs ensure that proper financial controls are in place and that financial transactions support the overall business strategy while complying with applicable laws and regulations.
CLO Median Annual Salary: $333,980
An executive-level legal expert and corporate leader, the Chief Legal Officer or General Counsel helps the company minimize its legal risks by advising the company’s other officers and board members on any major legal and regulatory issues the company confronts, such as litigation risks. A CLO typically has an extensive career in law; positions a CLO might hold before becoming an executive include the head of legal, first general counsel, and firm partner. A Chief Legal Officer or General Counsel requires a Juris Doctor degree from an accredited law school and may require admittance to a state bar. Typically reports to CEO. Responsible for the development of functional or business unit strategy for the entire organization. Defines corporate vision and strategy establishes company direction and focus. Executes multiple high-impact initiatives to achieve overall corporate goals.
CITO Median Annual Salary: $266,171
An IT Leader, like a CITO, is the most senior executive in an organization responsible for the information technology and computer systems that support organizational goals. The CITO summons together technology and moves the company’s IT forward. The CITO is a key contributor in formulating strategic goals and implementing immediate business plans. A CITO gives technical guidance on high-priority projects and orients the company to trends in the IT industry.
CRO Median Annual Salary: $255,524
A Chief Revenue Officer is a corporate officer responsible for all revenue generation processes in an organization including sales, marketing, demand generation, etc. In this role, a CRO is accountable for driving better integration and alignment between all revenue-related functions, including marketing, sales, customer support, pricing, and revenue management.
CHRO Median Annual Salary: $250,000
The Chief Human Resources Officer is responsible for employment, placement, orientation and training, employee/labor relations, compensation, benefits, and employee services. Plans and directs all aspects of an organization’s human resources policies, objectives, and initiatives. Being a Chief Human Resources Officer requires a bachelor’s degree. Ensures company compliance with current, applicable labor laws. In addition, Chief Human Resources Officer typically reports to an Executive. The Chief Human Resources Officer manages a business unit, division, or corporate function with major organizational impact. Establishes overall direction and strategic initiatives for the given major function or line of business. Has acquired the business acumen and leadership experience to become a top function or division head.
CTO Median Annual Salary: $234,700
Slightly different than the CITO, a CTO is primarily customer-facing. This top technie frequently heads product research and development initiatives as they relate to the company’s current and future product offerings. CTOs typically hold advanced degrees in Computer Science or Engineering and often reports to the CIO or the CEO. A CTO is responsible for the long-range trajectory or an organization’s technology function, directing the strategic design, acquisition, management, and implementation of an enterprise-wide technology infrastructure.
CMO Median Annual Salary: $230,735
The CMO manages and directs marketing policies, objectives, and programs for all products and services. He/she directs and works with the marketing management team to form business plans and strategies and execute multiple high-impact initiatives to accomplish corporate objectives. They are responsible for the development of functional or business unit strategy for the entire organization.
CISO Median Annual Salary: $217,144
The CISO is in charge of IT risk evaluations, audits, and security incident investigations. They oversee the development, implementation, and enforcement of information security standards and procedures at a business, ensuring that all information systems are functioning correctly regarding secure policy. This role typically requires 8+ years of managerial experience as well as comprehensive knowledge of the overall departmental function.
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