AESC’s BlueSteps survey of 778 members finds C-suite salaries drop while other management compensation rises; gender gap narrowing in executive suite

In the last fiscal year, 44 percent of executives and board members reported a rise in total compensation, according to the 2013 Executive Compensation Survey released today by BlueSteps, a service of the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC).

The AESC BlueSteps survey of 778 executives was conducted in September 2013 and included responses from CEOs, CFOs, Board Members, Senior VPs, VPs and other management worldwide, including 53 percent from the Americas, 35 percent from EMEA and 12 percent from Asia/Pacific. Additional findings of the report include:

  • The average C-suite base salary among global executives surveyed decreased 8.8 percent year-over year from 2012 to 2013, while director level (non-board) middle management salaries have increased 4.6 percent during the same period.
  • Of executives surveyed who reported a rise in total compensation, the greatest percentage (41.8 percent) reported an increase of one to five percent, followed by 26.6 percent of executives had an increase of six to 10 percent. Only 10 percent of executives reported increases above 20 percent.
  • The survey also revealed that the gender pay gap may be narrowing at the executive level. The average base salary difference between executive men and women was only $22,075 in the last fiscal year.
  • Eighty eight percent of executives surveyed would not accept a pay cut if their roles required less travel.

“This BlueSteps report highlights the inconsistencies in perception about C-suite executives, in contrast to the high profile cases of robust corner office salaries,” said Peter Felix, President and CEO of AESC. “On the contrary, for most senior executives in our survey salary increases and bonuses have only modestly begun to rise after the financial crisis.”
“Revenue expectations, headcount reductions, and other challenges have put major strains on this level of executive,” Mr. Felix added. “Boards and top management should be concerned when the executive talent shortage hits harder in the post-recession phase and executive mobility picks up.”

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