Compensation for Management at Startups

If your interested in the compensation for executives for life sciences/medical device startups, check out the 2008 Compensation and Entrepreneurship Report in Life Sciences at Altgate. The survey provides data about cash and equity compensation split by a variety of parameters (e.g. position, geography, biopharmaceutical vs. medical device company, etc.). For example, the average base salary for a CEO at a company with one or less financing round ranged from $220,000 to $325,000. Equity owned by the same CEO ranged from 4.9% to 7%. As the company raises additional rounds of financing, the CEO base salary would generally increase, but equity would become diluted. If the CEO was a founder, he/she would usually have considerably more equity in the company but a lower base salary. Total cash compensation (base and bonus) for CEOs at biopharmaceutical companies was a little better than for their counterparts at medical device companies, $410,000 vs. $371,000, but equity holdings were slightly better for medical device CEOs, 6.04% vs. 5.12%.

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