New data from Kruze Consulting’s Salary data from more than 200 startups shows that CTOs have higher salaries on average than their CEO counterparts. Co-founders make the same thing on average, but where there is a difference, the balance tends to tip in favor of the technical co-founder.
The data show that the differences vary by stage and by industry. At Series A and beyond, the salary usually falls in favor of the CEO. It’s easy to imagine early-stage companies having to pay their tech leadership more because they have higher opportunity costs; especially in the Bay Srea, high-quality tech co-founders have a choice of high-paying, prestigious jobs across the industry, with compensation packages significantly higher than a startup.
When comparing industry to industry, healthcare and pure software/SaaS startups see the biggest differences. Again, that makes sense if opportunity cost is a factor; the vast majority of the skills needed to build a SaaS business are directly transferable to some of the highest paying developer and product roles at just about any company you can name.
The interesting outlier in the data is healthcare; it seems as if care-technical co-founders in particular are lucrative here and can therefore attract higher wages.
Sure, with a data set of 200 or so, it’s possible that there are some outliers in the data that skew things, but in terms of overall trends, these numbers are congruent with the broader compensation numbers we see across the ecosystem.
Kruze Consulting also has a CEO salary report it was published earlier this year, which can help you figure out what the market rate is for a CEO in the current financial environment, and a CTO salary report it published today.