Survey Peeks in US Marketing Chiefs' Pockets

29 July 2008

NEW YORK: Senior marketing executives in the US earned an average £1.5 million (€953k; £755k) last year, while some took home substantially more moolah.

A new survey by Advertising Age and research firm Equilar reveals the highest earner was Dell cmo Mark Jarvis, who banked a $3m signing-on bonus when he joined the computer giant last year, bringing his total remuneration package to £15.5m.

Among others enjoying credit crunch-busting salaries in 2007 were Target evp marketing Michael Francis ($4.6m); former Safeway cmo Brian Cornell ($3.5m); and erstwhile Domino's Pizza marketing chief Ken Calwell ($3m).

The survey found that, on average, senior marketing pay rose 8.1% last over 2006. Salaries increased 6%, while bonus, cash incentives, perks and benefits rose 3%. Estimated stock options climbed 11.7%, although their true value cannot yet be gauged.

And to prove size doesn't matter in marketing, the survey revealed some smaller businesses paid top marketers as much or more than larger firms.

For example United Online, a $514 million dial-up ISP, gave cmo Matthew Wisk a $2.8m package, while the Sears giant rewarded its marketing chief Maureen McGuire with a relatively modest $2.3m.

In addition, the report underlines the short lifespan of senior marketing positions. Of the 100 firms surveyed, twenty-eight said farewell to their chiefs in 2007/2008; while headhunter Spencer Stuart revealed the average cmo tenure during 2007 was a brief 26.8 months.

A comparison with ceo pay shows up significant differences: head honchos in place for at least two years pocketed $8.8m, according to Equilar.

Average 2007 pay for chief executives of the top ten media companies in the US was $22.7m, while leading the pay pack was CBS president/ceo Leslie Moonves with $67.6 million.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff