How hard has Covid hit C-Suite pay? This week we have some answers. In our just-released 2020-21 CEO & Senior Executive Compensation Report for Private Companies—the largest annual survey of its kind in the U.S.—we dug into the immediate impacts of Covid on leadership pay.

Today we’ll focus on the hit to CEO comp, but our research division has plenty more data on virtually every other title as well, across every company size and industry. When it comes to CEO pay, we found:

  • Some 37 percent of private companies in the U.S. reduced their CEO’s base salary in 2020 in response to the crisis—the majority of which report cuts of 10 percent to 30 percent.
  • As a result of the crisis response, median CEO cash compensation for 2020 is expected to decrease by 15 percent: a 5 percent cut to base salary and 60 percent to bonus awards.
  • Of those companies cutting their CEOs’ base salary in 2020, the majority were doing so for at least three months
  • Some 45 percent say the reductions will either remain in place until the end of the year or until such time when the company is profitable again.
  • Nearly 70 percent of companies in the restaurant industry slashed CEO pay. But media CEOs were hit even more often—and advertising/marketing and entertainment industry chiefs were cut almost as often.
  • Financial services, biotech, pharma and construction leaders were the least impacted, our survey found.

To succeed in a post-Covid environment, companies will need to be proactive with their pay strategy, rather than reacting—often too late—after top talent walks out the door. Hopefully we can help. Read the Full Story >