LA's top executive roles: Demand & compensation

Danielle Evans our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 03 April 2024

While known for its glitz and glamor, Los Angeles is also a hotspot for executive talent across diverse industries. From entertainment giants to tech startups, the demand for top-tier senior executives in LA remains consistently high.


Navigating this competitive professional landscape requires a strong understanding of both the demand for executive positions and the compensation packages they entail.


In this article, we look at the dynamics of LA's top executive roles, explore their compensation trends and provide insights for executives seeking their next career move.

The executive landscape in LA

Los Angeles may be the uncontested entertainment capital of the world, but its multifaceted economy also encompasses a diverse range of trailblazing industries, from technology and aerospace to bioscience and fashion.


This diversity means there is always an array of executive roles up for grabs. For example, entertainment conglomerates like Disney, Warner Bros. and Universal Studios continually seek top talent to steer their creative endeavors. Meanwhile, the burgeoning tech scene in Silicon Beach beckons executives with entrepreneurial mindsets and strategic visions.


Boasting dynamic thought leaders and resource-rich organizations, LA is a hub for innovation and powerful connections, allowing you to expand your network and be part of something great, no matter what sector you’re in.

In-demand executive roles in LA

While demand exists across the board, certain executive positions are particularly coveted in the City of Angels. Here’s a list of LA’s top executive roles and their average salary in 2024:


Chief Creative Officers (CCOs): $167,387 per annum

Chief Technology Officers (CTOs): $339,077 per annum

Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs): $401,700 per annum

Chief Financial Officers (CFOs): $492,623 per annum

Chief Executive Officers (CEOs): $936,900 per annum


These positions are sought-after across LA’s biggest industries, including entertainment and media; healthcare and biotech; finance and investment; advertising and marketing; technology and e-commerce; fashion and retail; and hospitality and tourism.


Given its status as an epicenter of aerospace activity, another one of LA’s top executive roles is Aerospace Engineering Director. Home to companies like SpaceX, Lockheed Martin and, the heart of the West Coast’s aviation industry, Los Angeles International Airport, LA engages in a wide range of aerospace activities, including aircraft manufacturing, space exploration, defense contracting and satellite development.


And with the growing importance of space exploration and commercial spaceflight, companies like SpaceX have been expanding their operations in the Los Angeles area, creating additional opportunities for Aerospace Engineering Directors.


All of this underscores the city’s consistent need for skilled leaders who can oversee and these drive complex projects.

Compensation trends in LA’s executive market

In LA's executive landscape, compensation packages often include a combination of salary, bonuses, stock options and perks.


While the average base salary for an executive in LA is $114,390 per annum, just meeting the national average, top-tier executives have the potential to earn a lot more given the demand for high quality talent. Equity stakes and bonuses tied to performance metrics further sweeten the deal.


When evaluating job offers in LA, it’s crucial to understand how compensation trends vary across different industries. Entertainment executives, for instance, may receive additional perks such as VIP event access or exclusive film premieres. On the other hand, tech executives might prioritize stock options and opportunities for equity appreciation.


It’s equally important that you know the limitations within certain industries. For example, LA is now looking to cap the annual compensation for healthcare executives at $450,000. Being aware of the changes in compensation packages will help you choose roles based on longevity so that your career has a promising trajectory.

Making informed decisions: Balancing compensation and career growth

While a hefty paycheck is undeniably attractive, you must also consider the long-term value of your executive compensation package and how it aligns with your career goals. Here are some tips you can use to make an informed decision:

  • Look beyond the base salary and consider the complete compensation package, including bonuses, stock options, retirement benefits and perks such as healthcare, vacation time and flexible work arrangements.
  • Assess the overall value of the compensation package relative to the cost of living in Los Angeles, taking into account factors such as housing expenses, taxes and lifestyle preferences.
  • Determine how the role aligns with your career aspirations. Does the company culture value innovation and collaboration? Is there room for professional development and advancement?
  • Negotiate and clarify expectations, responsibilities and performance metrics associated with the role. Don't hesitate to negotiate aspects of the offer, such as compensation or benefits, to ensure your needs are met.
  • Seek advice from executive search firms or career coaches to gain additional perspective and support in making an informed decision. Also leverage your professional network to gather insights from industry peers who have experience working in LA or with the company in question.


Considering these factors means that you’ll be able to secure a lucrative position and also find fulfillment and growth in your career.

Partner with Hanover for executive success

In the competitive landscape of LA's executive job market, understanding the demand and compensation dynamics is paramount to making your next career move a successful one. Still, filling the seat of LA’s top executive roles requires strategic guidance and expertise.


As a leading executive search firm, Hanover offers unparalleled support for both executives seeking their next role and organizations seeking top senior talent. With our deep industry knowledge and extensive network, we provide personalized guidance and access to exclusive opportunities for a sharpened competitive edge.


Whether you're a company seeking executive talent or an executive exploring new horizons, Hanover is your trusted partner for executive success in Los Angeles and beyond. Contact our LA office today to find out how we can support you.

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