Stagnant IT Executive Pay Setting Stage for Exodus?

For all the concern about retention in IT, it would seem companies should be concerned about keeping those at the top as well. A recent survey of 1,700 IT executives by CIO/IT Strategy Media Group found that IT execs lost ground financially in 2011. While salaries remained flat last year, senior IT executives were faced with reductions in benefits, stock options and bonuses.

A “senior IT executive” was defined as one with a title of vice president, senior vice president, executive vice president, CIO, chief technology officer or chief information security officer. The average base salary in these roles was $144,000, with pay greatly affected by whether these execs report to the CEO or someone else. Interestingly enough, a salary survey by staffing firm Harvey Nash found that reporting to the CEO – or not – made little difference.

The CIO/IT Strategy Media Group study found the highest salaries in four areas:

  • Aerospace/defense
  • Business services/consulting (non-IT)
  • Manufacturing (IT-related)
  • Research and development

Executives in health care IT made significant salary gains in 2011, while the percentage in financial services in the top tier (more than $210,000) declined.

The Harvey Nash survey found salaries for CIOs  in the United States 15 percent above the global average. It found budget and industry big factors in CIO salary, with female CIOs making 4 percent less than men. It also found companies paying a premium for new hires, but little premium for length of service. So, in effect, companies are creating some of their own retention woes.

The CIO/IT Strategy Media Group article quotes Joel Sweatte, director of IT at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., saying:

The state of North Carolina hasn’t granted any salary increases in three years. Our benefits cost more and deliver less. I am not sure what legislators expect, but they are setting up every state agency for a mass exodus as soon as the economy improves.

2 Responses to “Stagnant IT Executive Pay Setting Stage for Exodus?”