October 18, 2021

Wall Street Journal – Today’s Tech Founders Don’t Just Own the Company. They’re Also Getting Huge Pay Packages.

For years, Silicon Valley was known as a place where leaders often bucked American corporate customs when it came to pay. Rather than receiving large stock grants and salaries, company founders like Facebook Inc.’s Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon. com Inc.’s Jeff Bezos took little or nothing. Instead, they benefited from the rising value of stock they got by starting their companies.

That philosophy has given way to a new trend: pay packages consisting of giant special stock awards. These make startup founders better compensated than CEOs who have taken the reins at some of the most valuable, established and profitable American corporations.

Many of the CEO pay packages are far in excess of what a company would pay a typical nonfounder CEO, and they show the sway of startup CEOs over their boards, said Robin Ferracone, chief executive of Farient Advisors LLC, a longtime compensation consultant for corporations and boards. “They are just bad practice,” she said of the mega-awards. “It’s a CEO who is taking advantage of his or her power.”

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