close this bookVolume 7: No. 34
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Technology start-ups now have to pay their CEOs about $300K/year, double what they paid three years ago. Plus equity shares, of course. VPs commonly get $200K/year plus maybe 1% of the company. Venture capitalists are used to this kind of burn rate, and are willing to pay for it (in return for equity). "Companies don't have a chance without great people." Thousands of Internet startups need experienced managers from established companies, and those managers are being offered pay increases and stock options to stay where they are. Salaries for software startups rose 9% in 1995 (the most recent available numbers). If a company has only marginal success, though, the higher equity cut for venture capitalists means that employees may lose out. One example is Internet "push" company Ifusion, which burned $20M in 18 months and then filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. As the shakiest startups fail, their executives will re-enter the job market and salaries will come down. [WEBster, 29Apr97.]

Computer Reseller News' 10th annual salary survey of high-tech executives can be seen at . [Network News, 19May97.] (Or check Business Week, 21Apr97.)

Netscape CEO James Barksdale is declining salary and cash bonuses for 1997 because Netscape stock fell by two-thirds last year. [NYT, 01May97. EduP.]

Bill Gates just got a 35% raise. His base salary is $562,588, not counting stock options and such. Steve Case of AOL only gets $204K, and no raise. [Media Industry Newsletter. David Plotnikoff, SJM, 27Apr97, 1F.]

Is it better to be a jock or a nerd? Michael Jordan will be making over $300K/game, or about $15M/year. Add another $40M in endorsements next year, for a total of $178K/day. That's about $52K during his sleep each night. He'll be making $2/second, or $7,415/hour more than minimum wage. If he goes to a movie, he'll make over $18K while he's there. He can make $618 while boiling a 5-minute egg, or $3,710 while watching a sitcom, or $33K while playing a round of golf. Eating at a fancy restaurant, he'll probably rake in $5,600. If he wants a new $90K Acura NSX, he'll have to save for just 12 hours. Next year, he'll make more than twice as much as the combined salaries of all past US presidents. And if he saves all of his income for 270 years, he'll reach the current net worth of Bill Gates. [Unknown, 20May97. Doug Gerdin.]

How much money did Intel CEO Andy Grove make last year? $98M, of which $94.6M came from stock options. (Intel itself made a lot more than that, on about $20B in sales.) $186.45 per minute. $268,493.15 per day. Enough to buy 3.5M copies of his own book, "Only the Paranoid Survive," or 65K Pentium MMX PCs, or 178,181,810 Big Macs. Other people would have to work 2K-10K years to make $98M. Reporter Mike Cassidy says he refuses to do so, as a lifestyle decision. [SJM, 10Apr97, 1C.]

Billionaire Larry Ellison his friend Mike Milken have created Knowledge Universe Co. (Los Angeles), a $500M holding company aiming for 10% of the $100B global market for computer training, continuing education, at-home courses, information technology consulting, etc. The company, run by ex-Sega USA chief Tom Kalinske, already has annual sales of $400M via majority ownership of Britain's CRT Group. [Lisa Sanders, BW, 28Apr97, p. 4.]

Ellison says he wanted to buy Apple Computer to put a computer on the desk of every American child. "The goal is not be the richest guy in the graveyard... The only way I know to make myself feel better is to make the world feel better." [Vanity Fair, Jun97. EduP.]