Chief marketing officers might have a harder time holding onto their jobs, but don't feel sorry for them—they're still raking in the cash, despite rising turnover.
Median compensation for the nation's top marketing executives jumped 24 percent in the five years ending in 2016 to $1,261,755, according to a new study by Equilar, a corporate executive data provider whose specialties include executive compensation.
The highest-paid marketing executive on the list is Jonathan Hargis, executive VP and CMO at cable TV operator Charter Communications, who pulled in $15,027,148 in total compensation last year. Coming in second was Jeremy Burton, exec VP of marketing and corporate development at Dell Technologies, who made $13,355,747.
The firm analyzed annual proxy statements from U.S.-based or listed public companies with more than $500 million in revenue from fiscal years 2012 to 2016. The rankings are not comprehensive because they only include executives who made the list of highest-paid executives on corporate proxy statements; some CMOs at big multinational companies don't make this cut, but could potentially make more money than the execs ranked by Equilar. Still, the list provides a window into pay trends.
The 24 percent jump exceeded the growth for CEO pay, which was up 22.2 percent. CEOs typically still make at least two to three times as much as CMOs, according to Equilar.
|Company||Executive Name||Title||Total Compensation|
|Charter Communications, Inc.||Hargis, Jonathan||Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer||$15,027,148|
|Dell Technologies Inc.||Burton, Jeremy||Executive Vice President, Marketing and Corporate Development||$13,355,747|
|Palo Alto Networks Inc.||Bonvanie, Rene||Chief Marketing Officer||$13,114,413|
|Coca Cola Co.||De Quinto, Marcos*||Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer||$7,635,055|
|Time Warner Inc.||Ginsberg, Gary||Executive Vice President, Corporate Marketing and Communications||$6,862,983|
|Electronic Arts Inc.||Bruzzo, Christopher||Chief Marketing Officer||$5,728,077|
|Marriott International Inc.||Linnartz, Stephanie||Global Chief Commercial Officer||$5,183,745|
|Autodesk Inc.||Anagnost, Andrew**||Senior Vice President, Industry Strategy and Marketing||$5,034,940|
|Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.||Crumpacker, Mark||Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Development Officer||$4,900,736|
|CSX Corp.||Eliasson, Fredrik||Executive Vice President and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer||$4,696,311|
**Anagnost was promoted to president and CEO in June 2017
Methdology: Total compensation includes salary, bonus, stock and options awards at grant date fair value, and "other compensation" such as benefits and perks as disclosed in the Summary Compensation Table (SCT) of annual company proxy statements. The list was compiled from the Equilar database, inclusive of U.S.-headquartered or listed companies with more than $500 million in annual revenue.
Source: Equilar, Inc.
Pay up, tenure down
The rising pay comes as CMO tenure keeps falling. A CMO at a leading consumer brand spends an average of 42 months in the role, down 13 percent from 2014, according to consulting firm Spencer Stuart. But the CMO role is seen as more prominent, which explains the rising compensation, according to Equilar. Nearly 200 top marketing executives are among the top five highest-paid employees at their respective companies, according to proxy statements examined by Equilar.
"Organizations are becoming more complex, and more companies are pulling marketing and advertising functions in-house, so executives that can harness customer data, analytics and other types of marketing technology are at a premium," says Dan Marcec, director of content and communications at Equilar. "As you'd expect in such a scenario, competition for the top talent heats up, and compensation rises to attract and retain the best of the best." Also, as companies hunt for talent, they are increasingly tapping external candidates for CMO roles, as Ad Age reported last month.
Women are still underrepresented in top marketing jobs, but they are making progress. Women accounted for 18.4 percent of top marketing execs in 2016, up from 10.8 percent in 2012. Still, despite their fewer numbers, female marketing execs on average made more money than men last year among the positions analyzed by Equilar. Median compensation for females nearly doubled from 2013 to 2016 and is now $1,640,174. That compares with $1.2 million for men, according to the report.