I am employed at a biotech firm which is on the cusp of raising a new round of venture funding. My current salary is 160k due to a raise I received at the completion of the previous funding round on the basis of excellent performance. I am contemplating asking for a raise to 250k, which is very substantial (+56%). Based on the factors I enumerate below, does this appear justified?
- My equity will be fully vested come January 2021; hence 'by default' I will experience a reduction in overall compensation at the current status quo. This could nominally be a very substantial reduction depending on the overall valuation of the company. I have not included the value of that equity in my salary above (160k), but it is a very large number of shares since I am an early employee.
- I have transitioned laterally into a new role with higher impact. In that role, I am successfully managing a preclinical discovery project and can definitively make the claim that I 'saved' the project from failure. I am also assisting in the management of multiple clinical projects and have excelled in that role.
- I have managed a subordinate and multiple consultants productively. These management relationships were formed subsequent to my prior raise.
- I am an early employee (pre-Series A) with a good relationship with the CEO.
I have concerns about:
- Whether or not it will be viewed as inappropriate if I potentially make a higher salary than other employees who rank above me, either directly or indirectly. For example, suppose I ended up making a higher salary than my direct manager; perhaps that could be awkward, if he knew. I don't know how much he makes, so it's difficult to evaluate this directly.
- Whether or not the demand is unreasonable in general even for an exceptional employee.