Oracle Investors Say No to Executive Pay for Sixth Straight YearBy
Proposal fails even as founder Ellison owns about 28% of stock
Board members Chizen, Boskin are re-elected at annual meeting
Oracle Corp. shareholders rejected the software maker’s executive compensation plan for a sixth straight year after it awarded the top three bosses pay packages worth more than $100 million each in fiscal 2018.
A majority of shares voted opposed the program, according to preliminary results announced Wednesday at Oracle’s annual meeting in Redwood City, California. It’s the only S&P 500 company that hasn’t secured majority approval in a say-on-pay vote since 2011, even though founder and Chief Technology Officer Larry Ellison owns about 28 percent of the stock.
In September, Oracle presented a revamped compensation program, including long-term awards of stock options for Ellison, 73, and co-Chief Executive Officers Mark Hurd, 60, and Safra Catz, 55. The grants, each valued at $103.7 million, vest if the company meets share price, market capitalization and operational goals. The board doesn’t expect to grant them additional equity until 2022.
“Ongoing equity mega-awards to top executives perpetuate a pay-for-performance disconnect,” proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. said in a report recommending that investors oppose the plan.
ISS also advised clients to withhold votes for directors Michael Boskin and Bruce Chizen, who are members of Oracle’s audit committee. Ellison has for years pledged millions of Oracle shares as collateral for personal loans, which raises “significant concern” about the committee’s risk oversight, the proxy adviser said.
Oracle said Wednesday that both Chizen, 62, and Boskin, 72, were re-elected to the board. The vote tally wasn’t immediately disclosed.