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Typical CEO Salary In San Diego Is $256K

Aired 6/7/12 on KPBS News.

A survey of San Diego companies shows executive pay is less than you might expect.

American CEO pay has gotten a bad reputation for being excessive, with annual salaries ranging into the millions of dollars.

But a survey by the San Diego Employers Association found the average CEO salary in San Diego was $256,000.

Keep in mind we're not talking about the Fortune 500.

Forty-six percent of the companies surveyed had fewer than 50 employees. Twenty-three percent were non-profits.

Wendy Patrick is a business lecturer at San Diego State. She said compensation for top executives varies dramatically from one company to the next.

"Are we talking about a family-run business on the corner, or are we talking about somebody who has 200 employees?" she said.

Patrick added that these days concerns about CEO pay are changing at companies big and small.

"I think we're seeing a trend toward not such much reacting to the outrageous amount of pay, but to how we can tie that to the profitability of the company, and the profitability of the individual shareholders," she said.

The employers association surveyed 119 San Diego companies, and it only examined base pay. It did not account for bonuses or stock options. The high end of CEO salaries in this survey was 1.2 million.

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Avatar for user 'BD Cruz'

BD Cruz | June 7, 2012 at 12:18 p.m. ― 4 years, 9 months ago

Some of the correct points are being made: without knowing the distribution of company sizes, by itself the average is not very telling.

Alas it'll cost me $525 to get those answers from SDEA.

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Avatar for user 'Gabor'

Gabor | June 8, 2012 at 10:04 a.m. ― 4 years, 9 months ago

What a waste of time. Why would you combine profit and non-profit organizations in one study? Given that these two types of organizations are vastly different in all respects, the only reason I can think of is that the bottom line was to determine “salary” for CEOs, regardless of what benefit their efforts bring to shareholders or society. When compensation may be structured in endless ways, a study only on “salaries” of all CEOs is not useful. Instead it provides a false sense of information, when actually it is muddled as dishwater.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 8, 2012 at 12:29 p.m. ― 4 years, 9 months ago

Not including bonuses and stock options invalidates this study since the majority of executive compensation is in performance bonuses and in the form of stock options.

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