Proxy advisor ISS recommends votes against most of Oracle board

Reuters

Oct 15 (Reuters) - Proxy advisor Institutional ShareholderServices recommended votes against most directors of softwaremaker Oracle Corp, citing concerns over executive pay.

In a report released on Tuesday ISS, the largest advisor forinstitutional investors, recommended "withhold" votes for eightof Oracle's 11 board members and also suggested an advisory vote"against" the company's executive pay.

ISS said it recommended withholding the votes against the board members "for failing to provide effective oversight ofmanagement on behalf of shareholders" on areas like executivepay practices. Last year the company's pay for top executiveswon support from just 41 percent of votes cast, and thecompany's compensation committee did not respond adequately,according to ISS.

Since last month CtW Investment Group, which advisesunion-affiliated pension funds, has also criticized thecompany's pay practices and opposed the re-election ofcompensation committee members.

Citing today's ISS report, CtW Executive Director DieterWaizenegger said in a statement that "it is clear the board isrisking a shareholder revolt at its annual meeting if it doesn'tstart listening to the company's public owners."

Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger declined to comment.

Oracle General Counsel Dorian Daley wrote to CtW on Oct. 1,noting last year's pay vote was only advisory and defending thepay of executives like Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison, whoreceives a salary of $1 per year and declined to take a bonus inthe most recent fiscal year. ISS calculated that, includingstock options, Ellison's total pay was $76.4 million last year.

Oracle's annual meeting is scheduled for Oct. 31. ISS is aunit of MSCI Inc.

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