Top-Level CMOs Earn $1.5MM a Year

July 28, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Retail & E-Commerce

Top CMO-level executives earned nearly $1.5 million, on average, according to an analysis of data provided to AdAge from executive-compensation research firm Equilar. AdAge selected the?top 100 companies?among those revealing CMO-level compensation.

The top 10 CMO-level execs’ pay, according to AdAge/Equilar:


AdAge’s analysis included the following:

  • Average total pay was $1.49 million in 2007 for top-level marketing execs:
    • Nearly a quarter ($358,000) was in the form of salary.
    • Another quarter ($360,000) was in the form of bonuses, perks and non-equity incentive pay.
    • About half ($767,000) was in the form of stock options and stock awards.
  • Total pay in 2007 was up, on average, 8.1%:
    • Salaries were up 6%.
    • Bonus, cash incentives, perks and benefits were up 3%.
    • Estimated (because they will actually vest in the future) stock options and awards were up 11.7%.
  • Average pay for CMO-level execs in the 10 largest companies was $4.8 million.
  • The marketing exec who earned the most total pay – $15.5 million – was Dell CMO Mark Jarvis. Target’s Michael Francis had the largest base salary ($710,769); Netflix’s Leslie Kilgore ($700,000) had the second-highest base.
  • Among consumer marketers, Target’s Francis ($4.6 million), Safeway’s Brian Cornell ($3.5 million), and Domino Pizza’s Ken Calwell ($3 million) were top earners; the latter two are no longer with those companies.
  • Among the?top 100 companies, the CMO-level execs of 28 of them left their positions in 2007 or 2008. (On average, CMOs in 2007 stuck around just 26.8 months, per Spencer Stuart.)
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