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2019 Executive Search Salary Guide

Brexit looms but the outlook for 2019 is still positive

At the end of 2017, Accreate’s Executive Salary Guide had outlined some of the challenges the senior talent market had faced off a year of UK and US uncertainty. Now, US uncertainty has somewhat abated, but Ireland is now probably in a more uncertain place than ever when it comes to the UK. Having said that, the senior employment market in Ireland has been relatively buoyant throughout 2018. There is continued FDI investment across the technology, life sciences and financial services industries. In addition, indigenous Irish companies have continued to grow and expand, leveraging a high level of interest from both local and overseas investors. There seems to be a general sentiment that there is a real opportunity for Ireland once the UK leaves the EU.

When it comes to compensation, these positive economic factors tend to drive salaries upwards. Particularly when Ireland has a relatively small population when compared to the level and scale of the operations multinational companies continue to build here. The need for talent has never been stronger, and thus, companies are continuing to pay inflated salary levels to attain top talent.

2019 Figures

Executive Search

Job Title Low High Average
Chief Executive Officer €180,000 €400,000 €300,000
Chief Operations Officer €150,000 €350,000 €250,000
Chief Financial Officer €150,000 €350,000 €220,000
Chief Commercial Officer €130,000 €280,000 €200,000
Chief Technology Officer €120,000 €250,000 €180,000
Chief HR Officer €180,000 €300,000 €220,000
General Counsel €180,000 €300,000 €225,000
Chief Information Officer €180,000 €300,000 €220,000
Chief Marketing Officer €150,000 €280,000 €200,000


The outlook for 2019 looks to be positive in the main. Whilst some sectors may see a negative impact, particularly if we see a hard Brexit, many will continue to see the market grow as we become increasingly connected to the global economy.

EY’s Chief Economist, Neil Gibson predicts a 3.6% increase in wages, predominantly in technology and construction. As a general rule, the % increase or decrease at the executive level will exceed the national average. This may not simply be reflected in basic pay but also in terms of short- and long-term incentive plans.

It will be a tricky balance for companies to strike. Salary increases may sound incredibly positive, but it does make it increasingly difficult for businesses to get the balance right and still maintain a highly productive balance sheet. One possible solution would be to improve Ireland’s attractiveness to international talent. We have seen an increase in Ireland’s popularity as we have become more culturally diverse. Bottom line is what really matters however, so Accreate will be hoping for an easing of personal income tax in next year’s budget which will bring it closer in line with the rest of the EU.

Articles by Caroline Baldwin