12 May 2022

C-Suite Executive Salary: Get the Compensation You Deserve

While many recruiters have data on the average C-suite executive salary, many executives continue to wonder whether they have the salary they deserve. Whether it includes equity, bonuses, etc, if you have special attributes or exceed objectives, you might benefit from an executive attorney. 

Why People Seek Personalized Compensation Packages

When it comes to C-suite executive salary packages, there are three core opportunities to go for a personalized package. 

CEOs of Start-Ups & Early Stage Companies

Oftentimes, these companies don’t have the funds to compensate at the level people deserve. As an alternative, you can leverage your experience for a customized package. This completes the recruitment in a manner that benefits the executive and the company. 

Critical Needs

When an executive has specific skills or attributes that meet a crucial need, there’s justification for a specialized package. With the right representation, you have an opportunity to leverage your skills for better benefits, options, and bonuses. 

Turnaround CEOs

If a company performs poorly, its survival is unclear. As such, they need the right leadership to course correct the company. Unfortunately, that leaves the new executive facing a lot of risk. 

With that in mind, it makes a lot of sense that your C-suite executive salary package would benefit you greatly. 

What to Consider in a Proposal

In order to calculate a compensation package that works for you, there are a few things to consider. What all do you need to commit to this move? 

The company needs to address a reduction in benefits and pay, of course, However, there are other forms of compensation to include. 

  • Loss of Platform. As a high-standing executive in your field, this move might make you less visible. 
  • Loss of Comfort. As an established or rising star in your current company, a new company means proving yourself again without the level of support you already have. 
  • Loss of Opportunity. While this new opportunity might be great, other opportunities could come along. When you commit to this offer, it takes you off the market. 

How to Determine the Right Package for You

Ideally, your new compensation matches your current C-suite executive salary package, including benefits. If this is not the case, it’s possible to negotiate a “springing” salary. As the company grows, this allows you to make up for that gap. 

Additionally, some companies have the capacity to provide services that match your former benefits. 

Next, it’s crucial to consider the equity of your compensation package. At a startup company or in a turnaround situation, the gross assets may be lower. If this is the case, company structure might benefit you. 

For instance, a C corp can gain Qualified Small Business Stock, which excludes taxation of the first $10 million of capital gain. Moreover, gains above that level face lower rates. At an LLC, you might seek profit interest instead, with clear valuation laid out in your contract. 

Typically, the goal is to create a tir between the terms of your employment and your compensation. This supplies necessary vesting in the event you quit for good reason, face termination without cause, or a change in control shifts your perspective and position. 

How Much Equity Do You Deserve?

As mentioned, equity is an important aspect of any C-suite executive salary package. If the company is not public, which is common in newer companies, startups, and turnarounds, discuss equity in terms of your percentage of the diluted equity. 

While the employer may focus on a number of shares, it’s better for you to begin with a percentage. Then, have the company show that the shares equal the percentage agreed upon. 

There are two factors that help determine percentage: 

  • The number that makes it worth it for you
  • What your presence is worth for the company 

Getting Company Buy-In 

Next, you have to sell the company on your proposed C-suite executive salary. If you have an attorney versed in executive compensation, you have an advocate to develop your case. Here are a few examples of how to gain buy-in. 

  • They need a top player, and you meet those needs. 
  • The company needs alignment, and the right package helps to align you fully with their goals. It gains your long-term commitment. 
  • Success for you means greater success for the company. Even when you retain a specific percentage, other stockholders overall enjoy a greater gain. 

Partnering with an Executive Attorney

When you want to secure the C-suite executive salary you deserve, it’s crucial to work with experienced executive representation. At our law firm, we help you secure the compensation package that’s right for you. Moreover, we protect your interests throughout negotiations. 

Schedule a consultation with our team to learn more about your options.

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