US CCOs earn more than their FTSE100 Group UK Corporate Comms/Affairs Directors counterparts

Each year Watson Helsby publishes its' annual FTSE 100 Group Corporate Communications/Affairs Director survey. We thought it would be interesting to compare our findings with Korn Ferry's most recent Chief Communications Officer (CCO) survey of Fortune 500 Chief Communications Officers, where comparable data sets exist in each survey. Since the corporate affairs director position/title is not as widespread in the US (where government relations and public affairs often reports through to General Counsel) the comparison is not exactly like with like, but it is the closest we can get. 

(i)        Reporting Line

In Watson Helsby’s latest survey (2015/16) we found that 76% of FTSE 100 Corporate Communications/Affairs Directors reported to the CEO. In the Korn Ferry survey only 37% of CCOs reported to the CEO. In the US a reporting line to the CMO (12%) is more common than in the UK (3%).

(ii)       Size of function

The results were quite surprising here, but this is due to the fact that CCOs often don’t have public affairs and government relations as part of their remit. Only 4% of Fortune 500 teams are over 250-strong whereas 11% of FTSE 100 teams are in excess of 250.

(iii)      Compensation (base salary)

In our survey, we look at the differences, which can be quite marked, between FTSE 20, FTSE 40-60 and FTSE 70-100. But if we look at the FTSE 100 in total versus the Fortune 500 we see the following differences.

$100k - $275k - 39% in FTSE 100 and 56% in Fortune 500

$275k - $450k - 45% in FTSE 100 and 33% in Fortune 500

+$450k - 18% in FTSE 100 and 11% in Fortune 500

So despite the fact that several FTSE100 Group Corporate Comms/Affairs Directors have government relations (and sustainability/CSR) as part of their remit (and their peers in the US often do not), they earn less than US CCOs.

For further information, or to discuss the research findings in more detail, please contact Nick Helsby at Watson Helsby on:

Phone: +44 (0)20 7493 2023


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