10 CIOs crowned compensation champs

Our study of SEC filings identifies the 10 most highly paid CIOs listed in 2011 proxy statements for Fortune 1000 companies. In addition to annual salaries, these elite CIOs get multi-million-dollar pay packages that rise or fall depending on whether the company hits its financial targets.

Credit: flickr/Mark Strozier

Among the 1,000 biggest public companies in the United States, 45 CIOs were rewarded highly enough last year to be included in the proxy statements required by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which explain how the top five company executives are paid.

Compensation for this elite 45 is a complex formula of fixed pieces, such as salary and perquisites, and variable pieces made up of cash, stock and options. To get them, executives have to achieve the financial goals the board specifies.

The motivation? Variable pay can account for 70% to 80% of a CIO's compensation.

The pay packages of CIOs and other executives can fluctuate 40% year-to-year, according to our analysis of the proxy statements. In other words, CIOs can do everything right, but larger economic forces or fundamental company problems can still mean they watch potential pay slip away.

This infographic identifies the 10 most highly paid CIOs among those listed in 2011 proxy statements for Fortune 1000 companies. The chart clearly shows how the performance-based portion of a CIO's pay package can be much bigger than the annual salary.


Kim Nash is a senior editor for CIO Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @knash99. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline, on Facebook, and on Google +.

This story, "10 CIOs crowned compensation champs" was originally published by CIO.

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