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Opinion
Chris Bryant

Want a Supersize Bonus? Then Get Big on Reddit.

In the meme stock era, already generous executive share awards can vest for unpredictable reasons. 

Peter Rawlinson, chief executive officer of Lucid Motors Inc., inspects a prototype electric vehicle.

Peter Rawlinson, chief executive officer of Lucid Motors Inc., inspects a prototype electric vehicle.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

It’s hard to design an executive pay plan that satisfies everyone but there’s now a big wrinkle that corporate boards need to think carefully about: What if retail investors suddenly decide the company is the bee’s knees and the stock goes through the roof?

Shares of luxury electric-vehicle maker Lucid Group Inc. have been on a tear lately, thanks partly to its popularity with day traders and on Reddit. After completing a blank-check merger in July, Lucid’s market capitalization has swelled to $91 billion. If these average share-price levels are sustained for six months, the targets underpinning British Chief Executive Officer Peter Rawlinson’s performance-based share plan will be reached, according to this filing. Those share awards, which were supposed to cover a five-year period, are currently valued at around $880 million.