Winner: Larry Ellison, Oracle
Larry Ellison’s $95 million payday in 2012 is so obscene it doesn’t matter how much his stock has gained since the end of 2011. (It’s up 24.7%, with all the performance achieved in 2012. Year-to-date, it’s actually down 5.4%.)
Over the last 10 years, you could have invested with a frugal company like Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM) who paid its co-CEOs the sum of $1.2 million between them in 2012, exactly 1.3% of the Oracle founder’s total direct compensation. And you would have made more money.
Ellison, who is the world’s sixth-richest man, shouldn’t need such a grandiose level of compensation. But hey, when you own more than a dozen properties on Carbon Beach, the world’s most expensive sandbox, you have a lot of upkeep. Let’s also not forget that Larry’s a dollar-a-day guy; his annual salary is set at $1.
According to Oracle’s compensation discussion in its proxy, 98% of its named executive officers’ compensation is variable and “at risk” in nature, aligning their interests with those of its shareholders. That’s fine for the hired guns who don’t own $36 billion in company stock, but there’s nothing “at risk” in Ellison’s situation. If he were truly magnanimous, he’d do what John Mackey does and pay himself $1 per year, and nothing more.
But he won’t. And for this reason, he’s my worst offender for 2012.
As of this writing, Will Ashworth did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities.