Albert Einstein: The World's Smartest Man Wasn't The Best Salary Negotiator

Blog Post created by cdooley Advocate on Sep 9, 2016

Compensation Data Facts - What's What in Compensation



History of compensation... When Albert Einstein left Europe in 1932 to work at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, he was asked to name his own salary. After a few days of contemplation, Einstein suggested a meager salary of $3,000/year, almost $55,000 in today's current economy. Perplexed by his modest request, the Institute felt it was unthinkable that other scholar' salaries would exceed Einstein's so they came back with a counter-offer of $10,000/year. Einstein reluctantly agreed to a higher salary figure, but refused an annual pension of $7,500 after deeming it "too generous." His pension was later reduced to $6,000, which he reluctantly agreed to. Going forward, anytime the Institute hired a new scholar to join their staff, Einstein's compensation was increased to those amounts.

Fast forward 80 years… Einstein's estate earned $11 million in 2015, landing him among the ranks of highest earning dead celebrities with royalties coming in from Disney's line of Baby Einstein products; educational books and toys, Montblanc pens and even a line of "smart" food.

More next week...

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