What Compensation Should You Give Your Team, according to the VC?

I found this useful feedback to a question I often get here, Matt McCall of Draper Fisher Jurvetson Portage Venture Partners lays out a useful set of numbers he thinks are correct as a VC for 2008.

I thought I would lay out historically the average benchmarks with some caveats. The first caveat is that these numbers will be skewed more towards an early/expansion stage company versus a start-up or late stage companies.

The second is that with conditions worsening, a lot of companies are going to need to ask employees to take across the board pay cuts (usually in exchange for some equity) to stretch the runway out. The third is that these are non-founders stats. Founders will have much higher equity and lower salary. The fourth is that each situation is different, as is each employee, so there are trade-offs between salary and equity.

  • CEO (non-founder)
    Salary $180-200k, bonus $50k+, equity around 5-7%
  • CMO
    Salary $150-175k, bonus $50-75k, equity around 2%
    Salary $150-$175k, bonus $50k, equity 1-1.5%
  • VP, Sales
    Salary $150k, bonus tied to sales (usually in the $50-75k+ range), equity of 1-2%
  • Other VP spots
    Salary $140-150k, bonus $25-50k, equity 0.75-1%
  • Director and below
    The market will dictate these. Directors usually in the $110-130k range, key programmers in the $90-120k range, controller in the $50-80k range depending on experience.

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