So You Want To Be A (British) CEO?

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Becoming the chief executive officer of a business of any size takes a special kind of person. You not only have to be smart, dedicated and highly organized to be a CEO, you’ve got to be driven and willing to make sacrifices for the company. That said, CEOs are typically among the highest-paid employees at a company.

To help us better understand the British CEO, UK salary benchmarking site has prepared a brief report breaking down the demographic characteristics of CEOs at smaller UK companies. Keep in mind that the data are based on a survey of 44 UK-based CEOs of firms with 50 or less employees.

British CEO

Highlights of’s survey of CEOs at smaller UK firms

The recent Emolument survey of UK CEOs notes that:

  • British CEOs tend to be both educated and experienced: the average UK CEO has a bachelor degree and around 13 years’ of experience.
  • MBAs are actually not that big a deal: it turns out that only 15% of UK CEOs have earned an MBA. Of interest, MBAs are apparently most highly valued in financial services or consultancy sectors (greater number of CEOs with MBAs).
  • UK CEOs are not especially greedy: given that only 35% pay themselves a bonus, CEOs at smaller UK firms are apparently sensitive to their company’s needs and even willing to do without a bonus.

Data on U.S. CEOs from Payscale

According to salary data firm Payscale, CEOs in the United States are paid an average salary of close to $155,000 annually. Total earnings of CEOs surveyed by Payscale range from $73,000 to $412,000, and may include include bonuses and profit sharing proceeds that could top $141,000 and $103,000, respectively. Location of the business and years of experience do have a major impact on pay for CEOs, with location being the biggest influence. Of note, there are far more male Chief Executive Officers than female in the U.S., with males representing close to 83% of the total respondents.

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