Salesforce boss Benioff scores payday of nearly $30m amid cost cutting
Average employee got $199k, changes afoot to exec compensation
Salesforce founder, CEO, and chairman Marc Benioff received a compensation package valued at almost $30 million in its most recent financial year, the one in which it chopped ten percent of the workforce.
For the year ended January 31, 2023, the exec got a base salary of $1.55 million, $14.76 million in stock awards, $9.84 million in option awards, $2.17 million in non-equity incentives and $1.55 million for all other compensation. This was up on the $28.6 million he made a year ago.
The figures were disclosed in a proxy statement [PDF] filed with the SEC ahead of a shareholder meeting in June.
“We’re moving aggressively across all four fronts of our transformation plan—short-term and long-term restructuring of the company; improving productivity and performance; prioritizing our core innovations; and building a deeper and even stronger relationship with our stockholders,” says Benioff in the document.
“At the same time, we’ve taken meaningful steps to ensure accountability to our stockholders, including changes to Board and committee composition and leadership, our executive compensation program, and our stockholder engagement program,” he adds.
Poor old Marc, who is worth an estimated $7.5 billion, has had a tough time of late: axing 10 percent of the 79,390-strong workforce in January after hiring rapidly in recent years and not being able to justify the headcount in a cooling economy, as well as exiting real estate and cutting office space to boot.
Then activist investors circled Salesforce, smelling an opportunity to wring out more cash from the business, and in response the board was refreshed in a first step to appease them. Benioff, at least, resisted calls to make more redundancies.
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A better than expected end to its fiscal 2023 sated many of the activists, and Benioff has moved quickly to engage with them by making changes to future exec compensation, including restructuring long-term equity awards, reducing the long-term incentive of Benioff by nearly 40 percent and eliminating the use of stock options.
Salesforce is certainly leaner at the top of the organizational chart, after chief strategy officer Gavin Patterson, Slack founder and CEO Stewart Butterworth, Tabluewa CEO Mark Nelson and co-CEO Brett Taylor split.
Taylor, was paid $26.79 million for the year, according to the proxy statement, CFO Amy Weaver got $15.7 million, and Park Harris, the CTO and co-founder, took home $15.7 million.
The median employee compensation was $199,130, giving a CEO pay ratio of 150:1. ®