What are typical compensation numbers?

About now you are probably saying, “Okay, you’ve written some helpful posts (at least we hope you think they have been helpful) on compensation, but show me the money!  What are some real life compensation numbers?” 

We hate compensation surveys. We hate average compensations ranges.  We hate industry data.  But
we know you want it (since 42 of you have asked us for it.)  Just be careful how you use it. These are our opinions and experience backed up by some industry data that we track.  Every case is different.  Your mileage will vary.  Tax, title, licence, and delivery charge not included.

Much of the cash comp will depend on how large the company is and where it is along the revenue and profitability curve.  Geography matters and while these numbers are for the U.S, there will also be major differences within different parts of the country.  Also, note that each round of financing will dilute ownership.  We’ve done our best here to spread these numbers out from early stage and more mature startups.  One thing that seems fairly consistent:  companies with less rounds of funding have lower paid executives and founders make less cash, but have more equity than non-founders.  Think of the non-founders as “hired guns” who are professional company managers, whereas the founders may not be, but given the risk of founding the company, generally hold higher equity stakes. 

Title

Cash Comp

Cash Median

Bonus

% Co Equity

% Co. Median

CEO
Founder

100k-250k

200k

0-100k

5-20%

9.0%

CEO
Non-Founder

180k-260k

225k

0-150k

3-7%

5.0%

President / COO
Founder

100k-200k

175k

0-50k

3-8%

5.0%

President / COO
Non-Founder

150k-230k

200k

0-75k

1-3%

1.5%

CFO
Founder

100k-170k

150k

0-20k

1-5%

2.5%

CFO
Non-Founder

100k-200k

160k

0-50k

0.5-1.5%

1.0%

CTO
Founder

120k-200k

160k

0-30k

2-10%

4.0%

CTO
Non-Founder

125k-200k

160k

0-50k

0.5-2%

1.0%

VP Engineering
Founder

150k-185k

160k

0-30k

1.5-5%

2.5%

VP Engineering
Non-Founder

150k-200k

175k

0-50k

0.7-1.5%

1.0%

VP Sales
Founder

175k-200k

175k

0-60k

1.2-5%

3.5%

VP Sales
Non-Founder

160k-200k

175k

20-150k

0.7-1.3%

1.0%

VP Business Dev
Founder

150k-180k

170k

0-35k

1.5-5%

3.0%

VP Business Development
Non-Founder

150k-190k

175k

0-70k

0.5-1.3%

0.75%

VP Marketing
Founder

140k-180k

160k

0-30k

1.3-7%

3.0%

VP Marketing
Non-Founder

160k-190k

175k

0-50k

0.5-1.2%

0.8%