Now this is really unfair. According to IT Facts, the average US programmer's salary increased 8.7% in 2006, but bonuses for executives were up 58.8% in the same period:
The average annual cash bonus was $3,773,715, compared to third period year 2005 cash bonus levels of $2,375,615. The August 2006 Index indicates that while base salaries decreased slightly, bonuses were up sharply resulting in an average total cash compensation per executive of $5,049,623.
Where do I sign up?
Seriously, breaking into the "executive path" seems to be fairly difficult. Every executive opening I've seen requires... you guessed it... executive experience. What's a programmer who's already at the top of his or her development track to do?