Susan G. Komen CEO makes over half a million

Unnamed people are wondering why others are questioning Susan G. Komen CEO Nancy Brinker’s commitment to fighting breast cancer after the org’s decision to stop working with Planned Parenthood.

Part of the reason is her estimated $530,000 salary, money that’s directly being taken away from fighting breast cancer. The cynical way to look at that figure is that, as founder and CEO, she has enormous sway over how much she gets paid, even if she’s not directly deciding it. Helping women is important, but I’ve gotta get mine first.

The nonprofit industry’s defense when it comes to enormous compensation for its leadership is that orgs can’t attract qualified leaders with lower pay. In the best light, that means that Brinker wouldn’t work for Komen if she were being paid a measly $450,000 a year. Does that sound like someone who’s all that committed to the cause?

If she were pulling in less than $50,000 a year (as I’m sure many of the decent and committed people who work for her do) when she’s qualified enough to make more than that in for-profit industry, then we’d all be applauding her commitment to the cause. She isn’t, though, and it makes you wonder why.


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