Data suggests Chief Legal Officers have done less well on pay than CFOs and CIOs over past five years

Korn/Ferry compiles an annual Index of Global Executive Compensation. A chart in talent mgt., July 2010 at 50 shows form it “Global First-Year Executive Compensation” for the years 2005 through 2009. Four positions each start at an index score in 2005, those being the CEO, CFO, CIO (Chief Information Officer or Chief Technology Officer), and “Global Top Executives” (also defined as “C-suite/SVPs”). Chief Legal Officers (CLO) would be in the last group.

The compensation of CFOs and CIOs increased from the 2005 index more than did the compensation of the Top Executives. HR and Compliance heads, among others, are in that category, to be sure. The study does not disclose total amounts of compensation, only percentage changes from the baseline index in 2005.

Since pay clearly signals pecking order, it is sobering for general counsel to realize that those who manage the corporation’s money and technology have counted for more than those who manage its legal risks.

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