Top IT execs make millions of dollars

Top IT execs make millions of dollars

That fabled seat at the table that CIOs so crave comes with extra responsibility and pressure. And lots of money.

That fabled seat at the table that CIOs so crave comes with extra responsibility and pressure. And lots of money. Every year, public companies must file proxy statements with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, to show what their top five highest- paid executives make in salary, bonuses and incentive pay such as stock and options awards. We took a look at the latest proxies filed by the 1000 biggest US companies to find out what compensation looks like these days for those elite CIOs ranked and rewarded highly enough at their companies to be included in the circle of five.

What we found is that although relatively few CIOs are included-just 52 among the Fortune 1000-the ones who made it have made it big. Collectively, the 52 were paid US$137 million in 2006, the latest year for which complete proxy data is available.

The top 10 in that group together made $65 million. That'll buy a few BMWs.

However, these people are much more than CIOs.

Jeff Fox, number one on the list at $9 million, leads operations and shared services at telecom company Alltel. A former investment banker, Fox has a long tenure at Alltel-since 1996.

Five of the top 10 are in financial services, including the only woman in the group, the recently retired Jean Davis, senior executive vice president for e-commerce and operations at Wachovia.

Eight of the top 10 are accountable for operations, customer service or other senior-level responsibilities. Bob Willett, CIO at Best Buy for example, is also CEO of the retailer's international business, earning $8.6 million. Willett also won a CIO 100 award this year for a business intelligence project that analyses customer purchases. Joe Antonellis, who was CIO of State Street since 2002, is now vice chairman, earning $6.3 million. Antonellis recently hired a CIO to work for him.

2007 New Zealand CIO Salary Survey

To participate in the online survey on CIO compensation in New Zealand, please go to The survey results will be published in the February 2008 issue of CIO New Zealand magazine.

Join the CIO New Zealand group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

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