CIO pay grows 30% as demand for digital leaders rises

The CIO's strategic role is becoming increasingly highlighted as organizations face competition in the digital age. As the demand for IT leaders with this type of business acumen surges, so does their pay.

CIO pay across all industries has increased between 30 percent and 40 percent since 2012, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing numbers from executive recruiter and consulting firm Korn/Ferry International.

Korn/Ferry International analyzed compensation packages for 100 companies in the Fortune 500 and found the average pay for CIOs in this group reaches $1.1 million.

The increase in salary, though, is tied to an increase in expectations, according to the WSJ. While CIOs previously were evaluated on whether software installations were completed on time, now they are looking at financial metrics, often the same ones CEOs are examining. "Boards are willing to pay a lot for top IT talent, but they want a lot in return," according to the report.

The WSJ gathered 30 CIOs and technology leaders valued highly enough to be included on the latest proxy statements filed by the Fortune 500. Among those leaders is Margaret McCarthy, executive vice president of operations and technology who in 2014 received $4.26 million in total compensation.

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