The Highest Paid Bar Code and RFID CEOs - 2018

money bags guy w border spaceHave you ever wondered how much top executives in the bar code and RFID industry are paid?  The Bar Code News(tm) took a look at the compensation of the CEOs of public companies (and one non-profit) and found they are doing well.  
Below we show monetary and equity/stock/option compensation as reported by either 10-K forms or  public sites where they gather such data.   Some companies 10-K forms involve numerous confusing (perhaps deliberately) addendums and we found that a bit tedious, so we utilized other public sources too.    Be sure to check out our review of bar code related public company earnings for 3Q18
Here’s what we found: 
#1 - Avery Dennison -  The highest paid CEO in the bar code/RFID industry is Mitchell R Butier. and differed slightly in reporting his compensation which seems to be about $8.6 million.   Note - five other executives at Avery reportedly earned over $2 million in total compensation.   FY 2017.   Avery Dennison is profitable and arguably the king of the label industry. 
#2 - Zebra - Anders Gustafsson - total compensation approximately $7.79 million dollars.  Five other executives earned over $1 million as well. FY 2017.  The company recently reported strong growth, is profitable and dominates a number of sectors.  The market cap is about $8.7 billion and the symbol is ZBRA.
#3 - Digimarc - Bruce Davis - total comp for FY 2017 - about $5.4 million.  Digimarc has lost money for the last few years, and revenues for the most recent quarter (3Q18) fell 40% over the prior year.   Share price touched a multi-year low this week at $18.94. Symbol DMRC
#4 - ScanSource - the iconic company and original consolidator of the POS and bar code industry, CEO Mike Baur earned $4.4 million in various forms of compensation.   ScanSource reported strong growth last quarter and is profitable. 
#5 - Cognex - Machine vision specialist, the CEO Robert J Willett had total compensation of approximately $3.8 million.  The company is profitable and currently sports a P/E of 49. 
#6 - Impinj - a major player in the RFID industry.  CEO Chris Diorio received about $2.1 million in total compensation for FY 2017.  Impinj had revenues last year of $117 million and is losing money.  Nasdaq symbol PI.  Market cap is about $400 million, and some institutional investors have recently cut their stakes. 
#7 - GS1 - the Global Standards company and bar code issuing agency - run as a non-profit 501(c) but seemingly quite lucrative, did very well and paid its CEO Robert Carpenter handsomely.  He received $1,964,028 according to GS1 Public Form 990 for 2016.  That is about four times the average compensation for non-profit CEOs of the same size*. (*Source: 2018 Guidestar Non-Profit Compensation Report, which showed average annual compensation for CEOs of non-profits with greater than $50 million budgets at about $500,000.)  GS1 financials (public form 990) are available at   
#8 - Identiv - CEO Steve Humphreys reportedly received $451,941 according to   Identiv’s current market cap is about $84 million and it is not profitable.  
#9 - Socket Mobile - SCKT - CEO Kevin Mills reportedly received $360k in compensation in 2017.  Socket Mobile is not profitable and the current market cap is about $11 million.  
#10 - Intellicheck - CEO transition - data incomplete.   Intellicheck’s symbol is IDN, has a market cap of roughly $33 million and is not profitable.  
Not ranked due to lack of public info - Honeywell  - a key player in the auto id industry, and listed in our column on publicly traded bar code companies. It has a $5.6 billion division that includes data collection devices.  The total compensation information for John F Walton, the head of Honeywell's Safety and Productivity Solutions division could not be located, but based on stock grants (see and various ratios, we would guess it's in the range of $700K to $1.2million.  This division reported double digit YoY growth in 3Q18 and increasing margins.   
Observations:  First, there are no billionaire bar code executives. No Uber or pizza chain type billionaires here, perhaps because this is an old (by current standards) industry.  Or maybe because the most relevant ‘app' innovations are with the QR code and it is being embedded everywhere for free.  (Denso placed the QR code in the public domain many years ago).  Most smartphones can read bar codes very well, and I don’t see any trends in sight that are going to create any bar code billionaires either.  Maybe we could live without bar code rock stars. 
Second - this is an all male club - no women CEOs on this list. (Not making any judgments here.)
Third - only half of these companies are profitable.  Since we are likely at the top of a boom cycle, that doesn’t bode well for the next economic downturn.    We’ll see what type of CEO turnover we get in the next 12 months.  M&A anyone?  
Conclusion: There’s no need to worry about these CEOS having enough money for turkey this Thanksgiving.  Shareholders however, in some of these companies, may be digging into couch cushions for spare change for Christmas toys.  Shareholders should not tolerate perpetually poor or even perpetually mediocre performance.   
Thanks for reading.
Written and prepared by Craig L Aberle, owner -, who does not own any positions in any of these companies, except possibly by virtue of owning an index fund like the S&P 500.    
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Image source: Free Clip Art [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons
All info was obtained from public sources including: (for non-profit companies). 
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Neither The Bar Code News nor the author have any positions in any of these companies except possibly through an index fund managed by an unrelated third party. 
Information is believed to be accurate but is not guaranteed and readers should not rely on this for financial decisions, but do their own due diligence.   
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