C-Level Executive Salaries in Ukrainian IT Sector in 2021: Overview


CEO Ekaterina Osadchuk and the Indigo Tech Recruiters team gave the third annual overview of how much C-level executives make in the IT sector. We share our results with you and express gratitude to Royallex represented by Vitalii Luzhentsov for assistance in the data processing.

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Ekaterina Osadchuk – CEO Indigo Tech Recruiters Ekaterina Osadchuk – CEO Indigo Tech Recruiters

CEO Ekaterina Osadchuk and the Indigo Tech Recruiters team gave the third annual overview of how much C level executives make in the IT sector. We share our results with you and express gratitude to Royallex represented by Vitalii Luzhentsov for assistance in the data processing. 

Executives who can lead the company through times of turbulence and help it adapt to new conditions are highly treasured. But are they highly rewarded? Our new overview of salaries is about what income level satisfies Ukrainian IT top managers as well as what motivates and demotivates them.  

Check out the previous overview here. Let’s now take a look at the reason why we are here—the overview of how much C level executives make in 2021. A total of 294 top managers answered our questions. Of them, 188 were male, while 106 were female. 

Last year, the remuneration median for female top managers was $3,000, while for male top managers, it was $5,000. This year, the medians are $3,900 and $6,550 respectively. Men still make 40% more. 

The majority (71%) of the survey participants are between 30 and 39 years old.  The average salary of a top manager between 30 and 34 years old is $5,925, while 35- and 39-year-old managers make $7,725.

The difference between the average salary of a top manager aged 21–29 and 30–34 is almost 34%, while in comparison with top managers aged 35–39, it is 75%.

The remuneration increases with years and—as we hope—with experience. However, the data shows that the median remuneration of top managers aged 45+ is lower than that of their younger colleagues ($5,500). Nevertheless, the average salary of elder colleagues is higher ($8,108).

We got the largest amount of data in Digital (the median salary is $5,750), E-commerce ($5,500), and FinTech and Banking ($6,000). For the last two years, there has been the highest level of remuneration in these areas. However, this year, AI/ML ($6,225), MedTech ($5,500), and Consulting (mostly, it refers to project works, investment funds, and consulting companies with the median salary being $7,335) rank among the leaders.  

If we look at the average values, the leading areas are MedTech and Telecommunications as well. The median salary is $8,200 in this case. 

The trend of previous years is as follows: the older the company, the higher the salary of its top managers.

However, the difference is not that fundamental, especially for medians. It is more significant in the 75th percentile.

The bigger the company, the bigger the number of employees and the salary of its top managers. 

The table shows that the salary range at small companies is huge: between $1,460 and $12,000. Also, we can see that the average level of remuneration is quite high. 

There are two reasons for this:

  1. At small companies, the processes and the remuneration system in particular do not comply with the level of an ‘adult’ company, so a founder or CEO decides on a remuneration level on an ad hoc basis. 
  2. Recruiting employees for a startup is not always easy: you sometimes must poach professional managers by offering a higher salary.
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The remuneration level heavily depends on the experience of a top manager. 

Companies based in the US and Europe offer higher remuneration than Ukrainian companies. 

It is noticeable that the salaries of top managers also depend on the number of subordinates. 

Top managers with no subordinates have the lowest income. There are not many of them, only 14 persons, and their remuneration median is $2,100. 

If a top manager has more than 15 subordinates, their salary median is $7,000. 

The income of top managers also depends on the company’s income. Top managers who do not know how much their companies make earn the least. 

Top managers enjoy the highest remunerations at the companies with the following annual turnover:

  •  Between $10–20 million: the median is $8,000, the average is $10,565, and the maximum level (the 90th percentile) is $22,500. 
  • Between $30–50 million: the median is $13,000, the average is $12,419, and the maximum level is $15,800. 
  • $50+ million: the median is $8,125, the average is $9,619, and the maximum level is $12,700, according to the data provided. 

The majority of data was provided by top managers at food companies (184 respondents). The difference between remuneration at food and outsourcing companies is insignificant. However, the remuneration level at outstaffing companies is lower. 

And, of course, let’s review the range for particular positions. It is a summary, but we will gradually provide you with more detailed reviews of each position. 

This time, we will distinguish the positions of a hired CEO, General Manager, Country Manager, and cases when a Founder is a CEO of his/her company. The latter turned out to be the majority in the IT sector. 

Traditionally, Founders and CEOs (the median is $7,000 for each), Country or General Managers ($7,875), and CTO or VP of Engineering ($7,250) get the highest salaries. 

HRD and CSO or VP of Sales get the lowest salaries ($3,000), while CFOs earn somewhat higher remuneration—$3,500. 

According to the rules of statistics, we cut off a part of the data (10% of the sampling at the top and bottom). That data included extremely high values, but they were rare. For example, a CEO’s salary is $30,000.

Regarding the KPI, we are once again surprised at the fact that 31% of top managers do not have any KPI, while 34% do not receive bonuses. 

For the majority of top managers, the bonus is either annual (31%) or quarterly (20%), and it depends on the company’s profit (36%) and/or total revenue (34%). 

The most satisfied top managers are the ones whose bonus depends on the company’s profit. The most demotivated are the top managers with no bonuses.  

To sum it up, in comparison to the previous period, the salaries have grown by 29%, while the total remuneration level (salaries and bonuses) has grown by 10%. 

Based on the median, the highest remuneration is available in Consulting, AI/ML, FinTech and Banking, E-commerce, and MedTech, while based on the average value, it is available in MedTech and Telecommunications with an annual turnover of $30+ million, more than 800 employees, and being founded in the US or Europe 20+ years ago. In comparison to the previous period, the leading companies operate in MedTech, AI/ML, Consulting, and Telecommunications. 

Top managers with more than 15 subordinates, 10+ years of experience in the IT sector, and at least 10 years as a top manager have the highest income.

Most companies offer top managers a flexible schedule (60%) and advanced training (46%) as part of a compensation package. This year, the majority of companies also added medical insurance (44%) to benefits they provide. Last year, the compensation for sports activities was the third most common option, but the quarantine has changed the situation. 

The top three motivating factors for top managers are as follows:

  • Freedom to make and implement decisions (67%) 
  • Professional growth (64%) 
  • Salary level (60%) 

Other efficient motivation factors are as follows: 

  • Culture of trust at the company (55%) 
  • Open and friendly corporative culture (50%) 
  • Work-life balance (47%)

Top managers are mostly demotivated by:

  • No freedom to make and implement decisions (67%) 
  • Professional growth (64%)
  • Insufficient salary level (60%) 
  • No culture of trust at the company (55%)  
  • No open and friendly corporative culture (50%) 
  • No work-life balance (47%) 
  • Incompetent and inefficient management (43%)
It is quite interesting that before the COVID‐19, the demotivating factors were different, while the key one was no work-life balance. Also, ‘no culture of trust at the company’ and ‘no open and friendly corporative culture’ were not closer to the top. Perhaps, top managers lack some real-life communication working remotely, while the new format requires them to formalize their workflow. 

Regarding the data on work formats, right now, 72% of top managers can choose to work at home or in the office, 15% work remotely, and only 11% work in the office (it was 51% in the previous overview). 

You can find more figures and facts in the detailed Salary Survey presentation by Indigo Tech Recruiters.

In our research, we presented general information about executive salaries.

Later, we are planning to publish a series of articles with a more detailed overview of how much it is possible to make holding certain positions.

We collected a lot of interesting facts, e.g.:

  • CEO or CTO’s salary levels depending on the area and company’s type, country of origin, number of employees, and person’s education, experience, and other aspects
  • CEO or CTO’s satisfaction with the company’s work depending on the level of salary, compensation package, schedule, etc. 

We hope that this information will help you make the right life and management decisions.

Please let us know whether you find this research useful.

For feedback, please email us at info@indigo.co.ua.

Authored by Ekaterina Osadchuk, CEO Indigo Tech Recruiters

We can help you find a top manager for your company!

We will contact you to find out more about the job opening and discuss filling dates.

Request an evaluation 
Author: Катерина Осадчук
Category C-level
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