Venture Cap CEOs Pay Crimped

August 5, 2002 ( - Pay raises have been harder to come by this year, even for venture capital CEOs, according to a new survey.

According to VentureOne, the median base pay for CEOs of venture-backed companies increased to $200,000 in the first half of 2002, up from $190,000 during the same period the previous year. Vice president and director-level positions saw similar increases.

Bonuses for vice presidents and directors at venture-backed companies fell. Bonus amounts for VPs showed the greatest decrease in dollar terms, from a median of $32,450 to $25,000.

Indeed, the percentage of venture-backed companies offering bonuses to employees has declined considerably since the first half of 2001.

Not surprisingly, the drop is especially evident in the regions most affected by the dot-com boom and bust. In Northern California, for example, the percentage of companies offering bonuses fell from 73% in 2001 to just 37% in 2002.

The one area where salaries headed was with health care companies — In keeping with the growing allocation of venture investment dollars to healthcare. In fact, salaries for healthcare executives increased at every level. For instance, CEOs at venture-backed healthcare companies earned a median salary of $215,000, up from $200,000 last year.

Information technology companies accounted for 50% of the VentureOne sample, while 26% were in the health care sector, and 22% were products and services companies.