Venture-Backed Companies' CEO Pay Rising

September 30, 2005 ( - CEOs of privately held, venture-financed entrepreneurial firms in the US are earning about $10,000 more a year than they did in 2004.

The CompensationPro survey put out by VentureOne found that the CEOs of venture-backed companies are earning $35,000 more than in 2003. According to a news release on the survey, CEOs overall are earning $260,000 in total salary, including bonuses and commissions.

CEOs of health care companies again earn the largest median base salary at $235,000. However, the release said that CEOs from Information-Technology (IT) and products and services firms saw the larger gains in the 2005 survey. The median base salary for IT CEOs was $216,000 compared to $200,000 in 2004, and the median base salary for CEOs of products and services companies grew to $220,000 from $204,000 in 2004.

John Gabbert, vice president of worldwide research at VentureOne said the growth, especially in products and services companies, reflects recent investment trends. He also said in the release that, “[H]ealth-care CEOs continue to be the most handsomely rewarded, perhaps because health-care companies continue to be the one industry category that has had some success exiting via the public markets and because of the strong demand for leaders experienced in taking these companies through the development, testing, and marketing stages.”

Equity packages were a different story. According to the announcement, CEOs are reported receiving a median amount of 4.6% of equity in their companies during the second half of 2004, down from 5% previously.

Approximately 600 chief executive officers of US venture-backed companies were questioned for the survey, which is annualized as of September 2005. The VentureOne Web site is .