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IBM boss Arvind 'kerching' Krishna paid more than $16m in 2022

That's equivalent to 271 Big Blue workers

IBM chairman and CEO Arvind Krishna's 2022 financial package was a healthy $16.58 million – equivalent to the median pay for 271 of his employees.

Krishna's total compensation was down on the prior year by just under $1 million due to a lower volume of longer-term stock awards vesting, according to the 2023 Notice of Annual Meeting and Proxy Statement.

The base salary was unchanged at $1.5 million, stock awards were $8.93 million, option awards were $2.03 million, and the annual incentive plan grew by more than $500,000 to $3.48 million.

Krishna, who is estimated to be worth at least $40.5 million, oversaw the first meaningful revenue growth at IBM in more than a decade: up 11 percent to $60.5 billion in 2021. Along the way, IBM says, targets were hit for Consulting and Software divisions and recurring revenue accounted for half of IBM's turnover.

In other highlighted achievements attributed to the CEO and his exec officers, IBM completed eight purchases in 2022 for $2 billion; deployed the Osprey 433-Qubit quantum system; made a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 65 percent by 2025; and emphasized diversity among leadership.

Metrics applied to exec compensation were linked to revenue targets, operating cash flow, operating earnings per share, and free cash flow. Targets were met, the SEC filing indicates.

IBM was criticized in years past for not including revenue growth as an annual goal, instead execs were focused on so-called Strategic Imperatives. This changed in 2021, the year IBM announced it was to spin out much of its Global Infrastructure Services division, which was an anchor on revenue growth.

Krishna's package equaled the median annual pay of 271 IBMers: "This ratio is based on annual total compensation of $16,580,075 for the CEO and $61,242 for the median employee. The base salary for the median employee was $45,197." This pay rate was determined in October 2021.

This is the same ratio for HPE boss Antonio Neri, who got $17.36 million in the corporation's fiscal 2022.

As for Krishna's other generals, CFO James Kavanagh was awarded $10.13 million, vice chairman Gary Cohn some $8.95 million, and senior veep Tom Rosamillia's total package was valued at $7.66 million.

IBM, unlike last year, did not note any shareholder unrest, as happened when former Red Hat boss Jim Whitehurst was awarded $22.4 million in stock options alone. Almost half of shareholders did not support the compensation proposal. Whitehurst didn't take the money in any case – he decided to leave in July 2021 and the annual long-term incentive was not granted. ®

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