Many of Silicon Valley's biggest tech companies pay a typical worker well into the six figures — or in the case of Facebook, a whopping $240,430. That's $43,000 more than what Google parent Alphabet Inc. pays a typical worker, according to the latest Silicon Valley Business Journal analysis of public company filings.
We've been keeping tabs on how much the region's biggest publicly traded employers pay their median worker. The figures on worker pay and how that compares with CEO compensation are from company filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
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As more public companies are required to disclose median worker pay, we look at which big Bay Area tech employers pay their employees the most — and least. Here's the ranking, from lowest to highest.
** Krzanich was Intel's CEO from May 2013 until June 2018, when he resigned. The company had not yet named a permanent successor as of the publication of this story.
** Smith was Equinix's CEO from April 2007 until January 2018, when he resigned. Peter Van Camp is the company's CEO as of August 2018.
** Watson is Chevron's former CEO and retired in February 2018. Michael Wirth is the company's current CEO.
Among our other findings:
• Software companies dominate the highest slots on the list. Along with Facebook and Google, Netflix, Twitter and cloud storage business Box are all near the top.
• Silicon may be what gave the Valley its name, but semiconductor companies tend to fall lower on the median compensation scale. That's because for some, like Intel Corp., a large part of the workforce is in chip manufacturing, not the research, design and engineering jobs that tend to be concentrated in Silicon Valley. That also helps to explain why the median worker at Intel worker makes $45,540 less per year than his or her peer at smaller rival Nvidia Corp.: While Nvidia is a fabless chipmaker, Intel's global manufacturing workforce — which is largely concentrated at its plant outside Portland, Oregon — is factored into its median employee pay figure.
• Two of the Bay Area's other chipmakers — Cypress Semiconductor Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices — also pay their median worker less than $100,000. San Jose-based Cypress notes that of its approximately 6,000 global employees, more than half are in manufacturing and fewer than 2,000 work in the U.S. The rest are in Thailand, the Philippines, India and Japan.
• Two of the U.S.' biggest household names — Wells Fargo & Co. and Chevron Corp. — are headquartered in the Bay Area but also employ the vast majority of their workers elsewhere, in lower-cost markets, no doubt pulling down their median pay figures as well.
Notes on methodology:
• Median pay means half of the company's employees, not including the CEO, make less, and half make more.
• This data is due to new financial reporting rules that require many U.S. public companies to calculate and disclose median worker pay, and how that compares to the CEO's compensation, in their filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
• In calculating that figure, the companies notably don't account for the lavish workplace perks that many Bay Area tech employers are known for, including free daily catered meals, unlimited snacks and on-campus gyms and laundry facilities.
• At some companies, like Facebook and Google parent Alphabet, median pay includes the value of restricted stock units and other employee benefits.
• Many of the region's biggest tech employers — including Apple, Inc., Cisco Systems, Oracle Corp. and Adobe Systems — have not yet disclosed their median pay figures. We'll report again as they disclose those numbers.
— Reporting intern Matthew Niksa contributed research.
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