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It pays to be CIO: Corporate jets, private security, car allowances and more

Ann Bednarz | Aug. 17, 2012
As CIOs ascend the executive ranks, many senior tech leaders are enjoying access to valuable perks and generous benefits.

A seat on the corporate jet and pricey club memberships are typical perks for big-company CEOs, but such extras aren't limited to the folks in the corner offices. As CIOs ascend the executive ranks, many senior tech leaders are enjoying access to valuable perks and generous benefits.

According to IT careers site Dice.com, the average annual wage for tech professionals is $81,327. We've singled out nine tech leaders who netted more than that amount in perks alone last year. (Their total 2011 pay packages ranged between $913,505 and $8.6 million.)

The data comes from Network World's analysis of the proxy statements of the largest U.S. companies. Not every public company reports compensation data for its CIO or senior IT executive, but we found 27 Fortune 500 companies that did last year, including Aetna, FedEx, Home Depot, UPS and Walgreens. Among those companies that disclosed pay data for their most senior IT executive, these nine companies paid the most in perks:

FedEx: $450,194

Rob Carter, executive vice president of information services and CIO at FedEx, didn't get a car allowance or golf membership, but his list of executive perks is nonetheless impressive. Carter's 2011 compensation extras, worth $450,194, included: $361,780 for tax reimbursement payments; $50,529 for personal use of company aircraft; $15,399 for security services and equipment; $7,296 for company-paid 401(k) contributions; $7,500 for financial counseling services; $2,850 for tax return preparation services; $2,655 for life insurance premiums; and $2,185 for umbrella insurance premiums. Carter's total 2011 compensation package was valued at $3.2 million.

American Express: $341,383

Steve Squeri, group president, global corporate services at American Express, scored the highest pay package on our tally, netting $8.6 million in 2011 for his role, which requires overseeing global business services, technologies, credit administration, corporate payments and business travel organizations. While just a fraction of his total pay, Squeri's $341,383 perks sheet included: $240,000 for company contributions to benefit plans; $35,000 for a flexible cash perks allowance; $30,175 for dividends and dividend equivalents; a $30,000 local travel allowance; $2,003 for executive life insurance; and $4,205 in other undefined benefits.

Gap: $241,699

Perks made up 8% of Tom Keiser's $2.9 million compensation package. Keiser, who is executive vice president and CIO at Gap, netted $241,699 in pay extras. His tally included: $185,769 in relocation expenses; $16,315 for a deferred compensation plan match; $14,582 for financial counseling services; $12,500 for charitable gift matching; $9,910 for a 401(k) plan match; $1,368 for company-paid life insurance premiums; and $1,255 for a disability plan.

Aetna: $170,831

Meg McCarthy, executive vice president of operations and technology at Aetna, racked up perks worth $170,831 in 2011. The bulk of her perks pay -- $146,072 -- was for personal use of company aircraft. She also received $10,000 for financial planning, $14,700 for matching 401(k) contributions, and $59 for use of company vehicles. McCarthy's total 2011 compensation package was valued at $4.5 million.

 

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