Middle East Tech Boom: New research reveals compensation for CTOs and CIOs across GCC
Heidrick & Struggles, a global executive search and leadership consulting firm, has unveiled the inaugural edition of its annual Middle East Technology Officers Compensation Survey, based on responses collected in March 2023 from technology leaders in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain.
According to the survey findings, the median total compensation for technology officers in the Middle East stood at $528,000. However, those with greater years of experience and working in companies with higher revenue enjoyed even higher compensation in terms of both base salary and bonus.
The majority of respondents in the survey were chief digital and technology officers, as well as chief information officers, primarily hailing from the financial services, industrials, and energy sectors. These professionals possessed more than 20 years of experience, with limited exposure to C-suite roles. Notably, 95 percent of the survey respondents were male, and their organisations reported a wide range of revenue, spanning from pre-revenue startups to companies generating over $5billion.
The Middle East, grappling with inflation while striving to boost its economy, is facing a shortage of technology leaders amidst rapid technological advancements. Consequently, high compensation packages are being offered to attract and retain experienced executives. The evolution of compensation structures is evident, with the discontinuation of certain allowances. Traditionally, companies provided allowances such as housing, transportation, and education to entice both local and expatriate professionals to the region. However, as the markets have matured, these allowances have been eliminated, reduced, or incorporated into fixed elements of compensation.
“To stay ahead in the rapidly advancing world of technology, companies need to implement business strategies that prioritise technology,” advised Tom Clarke, Partner of the Technology and Services Practice for the Middle East at Heidrick & Struggles. “To attract and retain technology leaders, organisations in the Middle East should consider shifting towards long-term incentive plans, rather than relying solely on fixed-cash structures.”
Heidrick & Struggles’ Middle East Technology Officers Compensation Survey provides valuable insights into the compensation trends in the region, signaling the need for companies to rethink their compensation strategies to attract and retain top technology talent in a competitive market.