sharing small pieces of rocks or jewels I find on the way

Answer by David S. Rose:

I'll give the questioner the benefit of the doubt and assume that this is being asked in good faith. No, it is not remotely OK. Out of my entire portfolio of 90+ companies, including quite a few that are well past Series A and profitable, there is a not a single CEO who is drawing even close to that.

Unless there is something extremely unusual about this situation (such as that the CEO is also the founder, who has invested a few million of his or her own cash, and has some special need for a big salary, such as a terminally ill spouse) that level of cash compensation would be entirely out of line. In my personal experience with companies that are pre-significant-revenue, the median CEO salary range seems to be about $75K-$125K. In some cases with later stage (post Series A) companies with significant revenue and a more mature founder (say, +/-50 y/o) with high living expenses (kids, schools, mortgage, etc.) it might sneak up close to $200K, but that would be an exception.

In the startup world, a CEO's compensation is usually taken in the form of equity, not cash.

Is it OK for the CEO of a startup to draw $350k?


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