The top-earning chief marketing officer pulled in a cool $6 million last year. That’s a nice piece of walking-around money, but it’s sofa-cushion change compared with the $100 million earned by the highest-paid CEO in the US in 2010, according to a recent study of CMO paychecks.
Most CMOs are “underpaid” and “undervalued,” Andrew Hayes, a recruiter with the CMO and CEO recruitment firm Russell Reynolds Associates, told Jacquelyn Smith of Forbes. Only a few make millions on the job. By comparison, the average compensation for an S&P 500 CEO was about $9 million in 2010.
Hayes said CMOs should be paid more. “CMOs are the voice of the customer or consumer, and the champion and guardian of the company’s brands.”
Forbes and Equilar compiled a list of the 10 highest-paid CMOs among publicly traded US companies, using information from the most recently disclosed fiscal year. Compensation includes salary, bonus, grant-date value of stock, and option awards. Albert Pimentel earned about $6 million, making him the highest-paid CMO on the Forbes/Equilar list. As executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer of the storage vendor Seagate, “Rocky” Pimentel is responsible for global sales, sales operations, product line management, marketing, and retail activities.
Other notables on the list:
- Steven Chambers took the No. 2 spot by earning about $5.1 million. He’s president of sales and marketing and executive vice president of the enterprise division for Nuance Communications, which provides voice and language technology for businesses and consumers, including Dragon NaturallySpeaking for the PC.
- Starbucks CMO Annie Young Scrivner, who is also president of the company’s Tazo tea brand, received $2.5 million.
- E*Trade’s Nicholas Utton got $2.4 million. He previously worked at MasterCard, where he spearheaded the brand’s famous “Priceless” ad campaign.
The full list follows:
||Albert “Rocky” Pimentel
||Waddell & Reed Financial Advisors
The CMO compensations are far above average for the numbers cited in a pair of salary surveys we reported on a year ago. The average salary for a vice president of marketing with 1-3 years of experience then was $117,000, scaling up to $162,000 for a vice president of marketing with seven or more years on the job. The surveys also reported pay for vice presidents of online marketing and Web marketing directors. Salaries grew 2.8 percent last year over 2010.
Do CMOs deserve millions? Should they get even more? How can marketers in general get paid more in these financially tight times? Let us know on the message board below.
— Mitch Wagner , Editor in Chief, The CMO Site