Directors at large companies got raises "in the mid single digits" in 2010, according to the annual survey of director compensation conducted by Pearl Meyer & Partners and published by the National Association of Corporate Directors. The study looks at compensation at 1,400 companies in 24 industries.
At companies with less than $500 million in revenues, directors got hefty raises. On average, their compensation went up about 20 percent. That's mostly because smaller companies are most likely to use stock options for a portion of director compensation, and their shares did relatively well over the past year.
Pretty good for a part-time job
Here's what directors at different-size companies got paid, and how much of their compensation was in cash. Keep in mind that many directors sit on multiple boards. Keep in mind: although there's a lot of responsibility that comes with being a director, these are not anywhere near full-time jobs.
- At micro companies-those with $50 million to $500 million in revenues--directors received an average of $90,775 each for a one-year term. Some $36,825 of that was in cash.
- At small companies--those with $500 million to $1 billion in revenues--directors got an average of $119, 408 each. Some $45,750 of that was in cash.
- At medium-sized companies--those with $1 to $2.5 billion in sales--directors got an average of $148,476, with about $54,000 of that coming in cash.
- At large companies--those with more than $2.5 billion in sales--directors got an average of $175,750, with about $64,000 of that in cash.
- At the 200 largest companies in the S&P500, as determined by revenues, directors received an average of $228,058, with $90,000 of that in cash.
The stock portion of board compensation is shifting, too. At big companies, it's more likely for board members to get a fixed amount of equity, while at smaller companies, board members are more likely to receive a fixed number of shares. Big companies tend to award full-value shares, while smaller ones still often use options instead.
Who's on Your Board?
- The median age of a board member is 62.
- On average, directors serve for just under 7 Â½ years.
- Most board members are men. Larger companies more likely to have female directors. Some 29 percent of largest companies have more at least three female directors, compared to just 2 percent of the smallest.
- At the largest 200 companies, it's still common for the CEO to be the Chairman of the Board. Some 70% of the biggest companies still have a single person serving both functions. At micro companies, only 40% of CEOs are also board chairs.
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Kimberly Weisul is a freelance writer, editor and consultant. Follow her on twitter at www.twitter.com/weisul