Meeting date: June 4, 2015 Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff was the I2th most overpaid CEO in our study based on his 2013 pay of $31,333,332. In 2014 pay his pay increased by more than 25% to $39,907,534. One recent article listed him as the 7th highest paid CEO of 2014.
Even if the only pay Benioff received were his stock options – an award valued at over $34 million -- he would still be paid more than twice the median CEO of S&P 500 companies. But he also receives salary, annual incentive of up to two times salary, and other compensation that includes $1.3 million for “security arrangements.” According to a press report Benioff has sold off 300,000 shares of the stock in the last 30 days, reaping over $21 million. The same reports states that he owns 37.66 million shares, approximately 5.75% of Salesforce’s market cap. At the most recent closing price of $73.10 the value of these holdings is $2.7 BILLION dollars.
Yet with all this accumulated wealth the board continues to increase pay, including a 20% increase in salary alone. Clearly this increase is unnecessary for retention or motivation purposes. It suggests that pay has become an ego-laden score-keeping mechanism. It supports the general trend line of executive compensation every higher, to the detriment of shareholders and society at large.