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Bigger Bonuses Boost CFO Pay

Chief financial officers at large U.S. companies were paid 16% more in 2021 than in 2020, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).

Which CFOs: The analysis, completed by Mercer, is based on the pay of CFOs from 43 companies who held their positions throughout the 2021 and 2020 fiscal years.   
Reason for the boost: The median base salary for CFOs in 2021 was $700,000, the same as in 2020—but cash bonuses for CFOs increased by 36% in 2021 from 2020, to a median of $1.2 million. Bonuses also increased chief executives’ pay by 16% in 2021. The increase in bonuses is a result of stronger-than-expected earnings for companies a year after the initial economic shock of the pandemic.

Looking ahead: “In 2022, C-suite salaries are expected to increase 4.4%, in part because of higher inflation, according to a December survey of 339 companies and nonprofits by Pearl Meyer, a compensation advisory firm. That is roughly in line with salary increases that companies expect to pay for lower-level executives and rank-and-file employees, according to the survey.”

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