Former Oracle CEO Larry Ellison Took A Pay Cut … To $67 Million

Julie Bort
Larry Ellison

Business Insider/Julie Bort

Oracle chairman, CTO Larry Ellison

Along with his new title as CTO, Oracle cofounder Larry Ellison’s tremendous pay package is also trending down.

In fiscal 2014, the former CEO earned $67.3 million, mostly in stock options, according to forms filed with the SEC.

Specifics are: $1 in salary, $741,384 in “Non-Equity Incentive Plan Compensation,” which most people would call a bonus, nearly $65 million in stock options, and over $1.5 million in perks.

That’s quite a bit less from 2013, when he was paid $78.4 million, mostly in stock options. And far lower than the year before, $96.2 million.

When his 2013 pay was a revealed, activist investor group CtW Investments balked and lobbied the board to stop throwing so many stock options at him. Top proxy adviser firm Institutional Shareholder Services agreed with CtW and recommended that shareholders vote against Oracle pay packages.

Oracle’s board argued back that Oracle is an unbelievably profitable company and Ellison was its kingpin. However, Ellison did try and appease them. He turn down his $1.2 million cash bonus for fiscal 2013.

Despite another pay cut, Ellison is not in danger of landing in the poor house. He’s Oracle’s biggest shareholder, with a 25% stake, owns vast holdings in real estate and other businesses, and is the world’s fifth-richest person, worth about $49 billion, reports Forbes.

New co-CEOs Mark Hurd and Safra Catz also had a pay cut in 2014 to $37.7 million apiece. They were paid $44 million each in 2013, mostly in stock options.

The SEC forms included a bunch of fun details on perks for these top execs, too.

  • For instance, Hurd and Catz have 401K accounts and as employees, are entitled to their 401K match. So Oracle kicked in $5,100 apiece to their respective 401Ks. (Even multi-millionaires need to save for retirement!)
  • Ellison famously owns a collection of airplanes, set up in a cutely named company called A Wing and a Prayer. When Ellison travels on business in these planes he owns, Oracle picks up the tab. It paid A Wing and a Prayer $1.4 million last year. It’s not unusual for executes to expense business airplane travel on their private jets to their companies, the way employees expense business car travel. Cisco CEO John Chambers, for instance, does the same with the jet he owns.
  • Oracle does business transactions with other companies Ellison owns. So, like Walmart, he offers Oracle a low-price promise. If Oracle’s board can find another company charging less for these services, Ellison will refund the difference.
  • Oracle paid a non-refundable $300,000 to a Paramount Pictures for a product placement in a film produced by David Ellison Ellison’s son, “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.” But the scene with the Oracle product was cut from the movie.

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