Survey: Tech Executives Saw More Pay in 2011, Life Sciences Inched Up

1/5/12Follow @jpruth

[Updated 1:45 p.m. ET] Executive compensation held relatively steady in 2011 among privately-held life sciences companies, while their peers in the technology sector continued to see salary increases, according to the annual CompStudy survey produced by executive search firm J. Robert Scott and law firm WilmerHale in collaboration with Noam Wasserman, associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School.

The survey analyzes year-to-year compensation changes across ten different executive positions in life sciences and technology. It includes compensation data from 575 technology firms and 225 life sciences companies from across the United States. While the technology sector continued to report moderate salary increases in 2011, momentum eased for the life sciences sector. “In life sciences, there was not a real slowdown through the economic downturn,” says Aaron Lapat, managing director with J. Robert Scott in Boston.

That may be changing. Lapat says executive compensation in the life sciences sector only increased by 1.45 percent over 2010. “There is something hitting the life sciences market that hit tech a few years ago,” Lapat says. Prior years saw annual changes in executive compensation for the life sciences sector of between 3 percent and 7 percent, he says. In 2011, non-founder CEOs in life sciences earned average base salaries of $304,000 according to the survey, up from $295,000 in 2010.

The technology sector, by contrast, seems to be finding its stride. The 2011 results … Next Page »

João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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