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When a 'Say-on-Pay' Win Is Not a Win

Louis M. Thompson | November 12, 2013

Could the fate of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's 2013 compensation plan be a wake-up call for boards of directors and specifically compensation committees?

Oracle's board is under fire for approving a wildly generous pay package of $78.4 million for Ellison for the 2013 fiscal year. The board's recommended compensation plan got less than half of shareholder support.  If you back out the 1.1 billion shares that Ellison owns and presumably voted to approve his own paycheck, the shareholder support level drops to 20 percent. And Ellison's pay for FY 2013 was down from the $96 million he received previous year.  In comparison, Cisco's CEO John Chambers received $11.7 million for 2013.

While the shareholder vote is non-binding under the “say-on-pay” provision of the Dodd-Frank Act that the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted in 2011, should the Oracle...

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