Tonight at the PandoMonthly fireside chat with Peter Thiel, Thiel weighed in on what a few signals are that show how motivated a CEO is to be successful, and as is to be expected, one of they key takeaways is how high the salary of the startup CEO should be.
This is true for many companies, ranging from Steve Jobs at Apple to Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook (assumed post-IPO salary). The $1 salary is used by the CEOs of companies to show that they are motivated by the long-term success of the company rather than by the short-term, annual benefits of a salary.
As for what salaries should be capped at for startup CEOs, Peter Thiel believes that a CEO should not be paying themselves more than $150,000, even after a Series A investment. Anything above that shows a lack of motivation to the company and to the future success of the company.
However, $1 doesn’t need to be the bar, as people must put food on the table. For Thiel’s personal example, he cited Reid Hoffman, who took the minimum salary available while staying above the poverty line of $15,000 while serving as CEO of LinkedIn.