Oracle has given its CEO, one of the wealthiest men in the world, a big 24 percent raise.
In 2011, Larry Ellison raked in $77.6 million in total compensation, mostly in stock options. In its fiscal 2012, Ellison’s pay jumped to $90.7 million, according to the company's annual proxy statement filed to the the SEC today.
The pay isn't a total gimme to Ellison, who is a cofounder, CEO and chairman. A chunk of the stock options granted to him – 7 million – let him buy Oracle stock at $32.43 a share. These were granted in June, 2011 and they've been mostly under water with the stock trading below $32 since then. It crested the $33 mark on Sept. 18 but didn't stay there long.
That hasn't hurt him much. He also has millions of options that he can buy for $21 or less.
He earned himself some $31.7 million by exercising some 2.2 million of his options last year.
Ellison's pay also included an $8.4 million bonus, but it was only half of what he could have earned under the bonus plan. Oracle also picks up a $1.5 million tab for his security guards.
And his $1 salary.
So, is Ellison worth it? Maybe so.
Last week, Oracle reported that net income rose 17 percent to $9.98 billion in its 2012 fiscal year.
Not that Oracle doesn't have its weaknesses, but Ellison seems to have a reasonable plan for them. For instance, Oracle's big bet on a thriving hardware business has been sketchy, with revenues declining but the overall hardware business is profitable.
Oracle has so far missed the boat on cloud computing. But enterprises are not ready to yank out their databases and replace them with cloud alternatives, or even other new tech, like "No SQL" databases. That won't happen for years, maybe decades. Meanwhile Ellison is ramping Oracle up to be a cloud player, and still has plenty of time to figure it all out.
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