Steve Jobs Is Overpaid While Larry Ellison Is Underpaid

from the ah,-executive-compensation dept

Nothing seems to get people riled up in the tech world like executive compensation arguments. Everyone likes to argue over who’s overpaid and who’s underpaid. Luckily, we no longer need to argue over it (yes, I know you will anyway) because the San Francisco Business Times has put their crack research team to the task, where they discovered: celebrity CEOs Terry Semel and Larry Ellison were underpaid, while Steve Jobs was overpaid. The article doesn’t mention it, but Steve Jobs salary was only $1 last year, which may make you wonder why he’s considered “overpaid”. It turns out that Apple granted him nearly $76 million in stock, which sort of offsets the low basic salary (not to mention his $52 salary from Pixar and his free use of the corporate jet). Ellison, on the other hand, earned just $59,165 in salary. Lucky for him, the $40.5 million he took home from cashing in stock options didn’t count in this game, since it wasn’t part of his 2003 compensation from the company, but a personal decision to sell holdings. Meanwhile, the worst on the list was Michael Cannon, CEO of Solectron, who brought home $18 million while his company lost $3.5 million. Isn’t that the point at which the CFO or the board should have gone up to him and said: “Um… you think you could do without a few million so the company is actually profitable under your watch?”

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