Salesforce Shareholders Say No to CEO Marc Benioff's Nearly $40 Million Pay Package


As Tesla shareholders approve CEO Elon Musk’s historic $56 billion compensation, shareholders at Salesforce have a different stance on CEO Marc Benioff’s $39.6 million pay.

A Monday U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing detailed the outcome of Salesforce’s annual meeting on Thursday. More stakeholders, over 404 million, voted against the pay packages of Salesforce’s leadership. About 339 million voted in favor of the pay.

The vote is non-binding, meaning that Salesforce doesn’t have to change anything based on the outcome. The company “will consider the outcome” of the vote in future executive compensation plans, according to its proxy statement for the 2024 fiscal year.

Related: This Company Caps CEO Pay Depending on How Much Its Lowest-Paid Employee Makes

The same statement disclosed that Benioff made $39.6 million total in the 2024 fiscal year, which was nearly $10 million more than the previous year. His base salary was $1.55 million; stock awards, bonuses, and other awards contributed to the bulk of his compensation.

He made 240 times more than the $164,985 salary of Salesforce’s median employee, per the statement.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

According to a June study from the Associated Press, the median CEO last year was around $1.3 million. The midpoint pay package for CEOs, factoring in salary, bonuses, and stock awards, was $16.3 million.

Related: These CEOs Have the Biggest Pay Packages in the U.S., According to a New Report

Benioff’s pay this year notably included security costs he previously covered.

“Historically, the Company paid various costs relating to surveillance, monitoring, and security services including at Mr. Benioff’s residences, and Mr. Benioff covered certain expenses relating to security personnel and installation and maintenance of security equipment,” the statement reads.

However, Salesforce’s compensation committee decided that “the personal security costs” Benioff previously paid were “appropriate to be borne by the Company” beginning fiscal year 2024.

Related: Mark Zuckerberg Only Made $1 in Salary in 2023— But Earned Over $24 Million in ‘Other Compensation’

Salesforce’s executive compensation had overwhelming support (82%) in 2023, according to the proxy statement. So what changed this year?

According to CNBC, two influential advisory companies, Glass Lewis and Institutional Shareholder Services, recommended that shareholders vote against the compensation this year.

Glass Lewis wrote there was a “lack of a fully convincing rationale” for Salesforce giving Benioff certain stock grants.

Related: Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff Donates $150M to Hawaii



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