Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL), the No. 1 database developer, said founding CEO Larry Ellison received $1 in annual compensation as well as options to acquire 7 million shares through 2016 valued at nearly $91 million.
Ellison, 68, already owns about 23 percent of the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based software and storage company. Based on Monday’s price, that’s equivalent to about $36 billion. Over the years, Ellison has also sold shares that have allowed him to buy expensive yachts for Americas Cup racing as well as a 98 percent interest in the Hawaiian island of Lanai.
In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company also said it completed the acquisition of Ellison’s Pillar Data Systems in July, after the close of the company’s fiscal year, for a potential value of $565 million.
Ellison has been granted 7 million options annually since 2006. The new ones were awarded at a strike price of $32.43, the same as options awarded to him in 2011. Oracle shares Monday, though, closed at $32.22, down 25 cents, meaning they are effectively underwater now.
Oracle’s two presidents, Safra Catz, 50, and Mark Hurd, 55, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), were also well-compensated. Besides her $950,000 annual salary, Catz got options for 5 million Oracle shares, plus bonus valued around $50 million. Hurd received the same package.
The board, though, advised shareholders that Ellison deserved more because of his connections to the company and “vital role in our operations, strategy and growth,” the proxy said. The compensation committee is chaired by Bruce Chizen, former CEO of Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE).
Oracle’s annual meeting will be held Nov. 7 at its conference center in Redwood City, Calif. Oracle shares have risen about 11.5 percent over the past year.
David Zielenziger is a veteran editor and journalist who has written for newspapers including the Baltimore Sun, Asian Wall Street Journal and EETimes, as well as for...