More on why IBM's female CEO is paid less than her male predecessors

Readers have been commenting on my post earlier in the week about IBM CEO Virginia Rometty getting a base salary that's less than what former CEO Louis Gerstner was making in 2000 and $200,000 less than what her immediate predecessor, Samuel Palmisano, was making in 2011.

--Perhaps it as simple as she wasn't as good at negotiating the salary.

--This seems like a non-story to me, and as you point out, the base salary is only a portion of a CEO's compensation. I'd be more interested in what the overall compensation was for the three recent CEOs, and how that compensation changed over time. Comparing Ginni's starting salary to Sam's salary in his final year doesn't seem appropriate either...

--Back in the early 90s my cousin and her husband were about to finish their degrees in accounting from a well-respected school. Both interviewed and received offers from IBM. Her for $13,000 less...and she with the better grade point average and equal or better grade in the accounting classes. Point is - IBM has had this problem in the past, has it now, and will have it in the future. Sad.

--To be fair, I'm not sure this is apples and apples: In 2000, Gerstner had been CEO for seven years. You can't compare the pay of someone who was just hired with the pay of someone who had been on the job for seven years, male or female.

--The mostly white, mostly male board of directors must be patting themselves on the back for promoting a woman to the CEO position. But each year IBM is one of the major advertising sponsors of the Masters golf tournament, which takes place at that bastion of sexism, Augusta National Golf Club. The funny part is that the club has yet to make Rometty a member [even though it recently announced its first two female members.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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