Pension Funds, Other Shareholders Pressure Oracle CEO Over High Pay With Letter to SEC

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The CEO of the Oracle software company, Larry Ellison, is one of the highest paid executives in the United States ($67.3 million in 2014) despite numerous calls by shareholders to reduce his compensation package.

Shareholders are fed up. They, led by two of Europe’s largest pension funds, are on Monday filing a letter with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding their concerns with the Oracle’s corporate governance.

From the Financial Times:

Larry Ellison, one of the highest paid executives in the US and co-founder of the Oracle software company, has come under renewed pressure from shareholders over his “excessive” remuneration and “unprecedented” failure to engage with investors.

The Netherlands’ second-largest asset manager and one of the UK’s largest pension funds, will on Monday file a letter to Oracle with the Securities and Exchange Commission, outlining their corporate governance concerns.

More than half of the group’s shareholders have voted against the executive compensation scheme in each of the past three years.

[…]

PGGM of the Netherlands and Railpen, the UK’s Railway Pension Trustee Company, say the company’s “lack of communication” has heightened their concern over pay, boardroom accountability and the independence of non-executive directors.

It is rare for such groups to go public with criticism of a company they invest in, underlining their anger and frustration after four years of trying to engage with the board and company executives.

In their letter to the company, they say: “As global investors, we believe that governance risk is particularly heightened in companies in which the founder serves as CEO or otherwise remains in a leadership role with the company.”

The pension funds aren’t a particularly large shareholder in Oracle – combined they only own about a 0.16 stake in the company, according to the Financial Times.

 

Photo by Securities and Exchange Commission via FLickr CC License

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