Frontline Marketing

Equilar Study Reveals 10 Highest Paid CMOs In The US

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By | November 7, 2017 |

Those holding the highest paid marketing jobs at major international brands can make as much as $15 million per year in compensation, according to new research by Equilar.

Charter Communication had the highest paid CMO last year, granting $15 million in total compensation to Jonathan Hargis. However, this was just 15 percent of the income of the company’s CEO, Tom Rutledge, who made $98.5 million in 2016.

Dell Technologies’ Jeremy Burton and Palo Alto Networks’ Rene Bonvanie were neck and neck for the No. 2 spot, earning $13.4 million and $13.1 million, respectively.

The gender disparity among top US CMOs should be noted, as there is only one woman, Stephanie Linnartz, among the ten list of highest-earning salaries. However, even with the gender gap, the Equilar study found that female marketing executives made an average of $400,000 more per year than their male counterparts.

The top-earning CMO of 2016 made a full $10.5 million more than Frank Eliasson, the executive in the number 10 spot.

For the study, Equilar looked at all US-based or listed public companies with more than $500 million in revenue from fiscal years 2012 to 2016 and included bonuses and stock options awarded in addition to listed salary figures.

Equilar noted that the median earnings of the highest paid marketing jobs increased by 24 percent over the last five years and additionally points out that the number of CMOs named as one of the top-five highest paid executives in the company increased by 157 percent over the same period.

However, despite the general trend upward, the median CMO salary has stagnated somewhat in the last two years. This year’s average of $1.26 million is, in fact, lower than 2014’s figure of $1.27 million in compensation for marketing officers.